Ireland had some of the harshest Covid-19 lockdowns in Europe, so after two years without any gatherings it was a pleasure for all concerned to meet up in the sunshine on April 28th.
I thoroughly enjoyed Poetry Day Ireland at Kerry Writer’s Museum. It was a treat to listen to everyone, to read my own poems, and to celebrate the spirit of creativity and filíocht as Béarla agus as Gaeilge.*
There was a huge variety of themes on the day, which included songs as well as social history and poetry.
Hopefully the toughest days of the pandemic are now behind us. During the afformentioned lockdowns the government even closed public parks and seaside promenades at one stage. Who knows how much the lack of access to those precious open spaces impacted on the mental health of people in cities who depend on them for taking exercise and getting out for some fresh air.
It was hard for everyone across the water too. I missed my son, who was in Scotland at the time. The schools were shut and he continued to teach his students online, but he did not have much human company. At one stage I was very concerned for his wellbeing and felt helpless when it came to his isolation. Sometimes the only thing to do with anguish is to sit with it, then transform it into poetry, so I wrote ‘Picture This‘:
The poem is on page 19 of my collection ‘The Pollen Pages’.
If you’d like to buy a copy, or to swap for a copy of your own collection, let me know.
Till next time,
* ‘filíocht as Béarla agus as Gaeilge‘ is Irish. Pronounced ‘fill-ee-ocht os bay-er-la agos os gael-geh’, it translates as ‘ poetry in English and in Irish’.