Seumas O'Sullivan

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Seumas or Seamus O'Sullivan, born James Sullivan Starkey, (17 July 1879 – 24 March 1958) was an Irish poet and editor of The Dublin Magazine. He was born in Dublin and spent his adult life in the suburb of Rathgar. In 1926 he married the artist Estella Solomons, sister of Bethel Solomons. Her parents were opposed to the marriage as Seumas was not Jewish.

His books include Twilight People (1905), Verses Sacred and Profane (1908), The Earth Lover (1909), Selected Lyrics (1910), Collected Poems (1912), Requiem (1917), Common Adventures (1926), The Lamplighter (1929), Personal Talk (1936), Poems (1938), Collected Poems (1940), and Dublin Poems (1946). Terence de Vere White praised him as "a true poet", and was critical of W.B Yeats for leaving him out of his anthology of Irish poets, which he thought a particularly strange decision since Yeats and O'Sullivan were friends, although they quarreled from time to time. In 1936 a version of a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy called The King of Spain's Daughter[1] was included in The Dublin Magazine which was edited by Seamus O'Sullivan.

Seumas O'Sullivan and B.J. Brimmer Company were accredited within the 'Acknowledgments' of People and Music by Thomasine C. McGehee - Published via Allyn and Bacon within the Junior High School Series, ed. by James M. Glass, 1929 and 1931 respectively - for both (the frontispiece) In Mercer Street and the excerpt from Ballad of a Fiddler (page 93)

He had a great admiration for Patrick Kavanagh, and in the 1940s he was one of the very few Irish editors who was prepared to publish his poetry.

His father William Starkey (1836-1918), a physician, was also a poet and a friend of George Sigerson.

He was a friend of most of the leading literary figures in Dublin, including William Butler Yeats, James Stephens and George William Russell. O'Sullivan's "at homes" on Sunday afternoons were a leading feature of Dublin literary life, as were Russell's Sunday evenings and Yeats's Monday evenings. He was inclined to be quarrelsome, due to his heavy drinking: on one occasion he insulted James Stephens publicly at a literary dinner. Even the kind-hearted Russell admitted that "Seumas drinks too much"; Yeats' verdict was that "the trouble with Seumas is that when he's not drunk, he's sober".

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Teresa Deevy Archive".