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World Poetry Day – Greetings!

March 21, 2015

And what else would I be writing about on World Poetry Day?

Tourists are puttering down the roads and swerving over white lines. Traffic on the road outside my house trebled last Sunday. Yep! If it’s after St Patrick’s Day, Ireland Inc. must be open for business.

In  beautiful Ballyv, the Soda Parlour has reopened. I’m just back from my first cappucino of the season. Sadly, the SP wasn’t involved in the ‘Poem for a Coffee’ deal that’s happening around the globe today. Bummer.

I got a great dose of poetry during the week, however, at the reading in the Library in Gort, South Galway. Now, you Yeats heads will know that Gort and the Coole Park residence of Lady Gregory played an important part in the great man’s life. And his connections with south Galway continued with the purchase of Thoor Ballylee.

This week, as part of  Yeats2015,  the ‘I will arise and go now’ Festival has been taking place in Gort. It finishes tomorrow with a parade on a Yeatsian theme.

As part of the festival, Galway’s Over the Edge Readings paid a visit to the library on Wednesday. The three featured poets also read some Yeats before their own work. Susan Lindsay, Marion Cox and Christopher Meehan gave sparkling readings. The traditional Open Mic afterwards was fun.

I was particularly taken with Chris’s work.  Here is a link to four of his poems in the Galway Review. He read ‘Shifting Pianos’ on the night.

Marion Cox also organises the Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering at Coole Park, so keep an eye out for those events later in the year.

Nine Bright Shiners - published by Dedalus Press

Nine Bright Shiners – published by Dedalus Press

Great Poetry News! – It was announced today that Theo Dorgan has won the 2015 Irish Times Poetry Now award, in its tenth anniversary year. Dorgan’s previous poetry collections include Greek, The Ordinary House of Love and What This Earth Cost Us. One of my favourite poems is his ‘Night Walk with Bella’. You can read it here. I may have given you this link before – but, what the hell. I’d also urge you to seek out his non-fiction, broadcasts, and essays.

Theo Dorgan is presently Writer in Residence at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Once owned by the Guinness family, the house was bought by the State in 1999. I found out last week that I’ve got a place on a workshop with Theo at Farmleigh next weekend. Happy Days!  I just need to get some of those drafts to a more presentable stage. (In between other writing commitments and the small matter of a Diploma in Radio Production.)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the workshop took place in this room ….

Farmleigh Library. Photo C. OPW Ireland

Farmleigh Library. Photo C. OPW Ireland

I can but dream.

 

Speaking of dreaming and suchlike: it being World Poetry Day, I have to leave you with a poem. And it being Yeats2015, it has to be the birthday boy himself. There are so many, many poems. I’m in a ‘heart’ mood, so I’ll leave you with …

THE FOLLY OF BEING COMFORTED – WB Yeats (1902)

One that is ever kind said yesterday;

‘Your well-beloved’s hair has threads of grey,

And little shadows come about her eyes;

Time can but make it easier to be wise

Though now it seem impossible, and so

all that you need is patience.’

Heart cries, ‘No,

I have not a crumb of comfort, not a grain.

Time can but make her beauty over again:

Because of that great nobleness of hers

The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs,

Burns but more clearly. O she had not these ways

When all the wild summer was in her gaze.’

 

O heart! O heart! if she’d but turn her head,

You’d know the folly of being comforted.

 

 

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