Monday, May 17, 2021

Dunshaughlin Poetry Trail!

 Dunshaughlin Poetry Trail!

Meant to give this a mention much earlier. The poetry trail is a project organized by a Dunshaughlin community group as part of the 'Keeping Well Initiative' and still a day or two left of it maybe. It began on the 29th of April and  runs for a three week period when the posters will be taken down and presented to the Library Service where they will go on display in any of the branches large enough to accommodate them The spirit of the poetry trail is similar to that of a treasure hunt where you discover the items as you explore the trail.

The trail runs from the RC church at one end of the village to the James Fox memorial at the other end and there are 38 poems in all with smaller sizes in shop windows of various establishments on both sides of the main street. Larger outdoor posters are located in prominent positions along the route. You need a little time on your hands but it should be an enjoyable experience. Indeed a poetry trail for the county or other towns - not a bad idea! With thanks to Barbara Scally of the Dunshaughlin Library for the above information.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Professor Joe Cleary and Professor Maud Ellmann discuss 'Small World: Ir...

One of Ireland's best known writers died during the week and I was searching through youtube for something appropriate to load and selected the above, so with thanks to 'Cambridge University Press - Academic'. Many tributes to him out there and the 'Arena' programme on RTE had some interesting content. Hope you enjoy. Seamus Deane (9th February 1940 - 12th May 2021). From Derry in Northern Ireland but late of Dublin.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

New Irish Writing: The Irish Independent!

 New Irish Writing: The Irish Independent!

With competitions few and far between these days here's one that is free to enter but only for writers who have yet to publish their first book. Edited by Ciaran Carty, full details can be had by accessing the Poetry Ireland Competition page (Link to the right) or by going to the Irish Independent website. Stories submitted should not exceed 2000 words and up to four poems may be submitted. There is no entry form required and writers whose work is selected will receive €120 for fiction and €60 for poetry. You can email your entry preferably as a 'Word Document' to

Please make sure you include your name, address and contact number as well as a brief biographical paragraph. New Irish Writing appears on the last Saturday of each month in the Irish Independent and is an opportunity open to writers who are Irish or resident in Ireland.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

On Raglan Road - By Patrick Kavanagh

This one was loaded by Patrick Thomas Howard and a visit to his youtube site I'd suggest to view the credits or indeed to read the comments. I remember visiting the Newgrange site in County Meath many years ago and asking the girl in the bookshop there what poetry books she'd recommend and she replied that the Americans were only interested in either Kavanagh or Yeats. Kavanagh was indeed a genius and little recognized for such in his lifetime and certainly not rewarded for it. Local connection as well in that Hilda brought him down to Dunsany to see if the Lord would act as patron. It didn't work out but he wrote a poem about it. Check it out. Enjoy. With thanks to all involved in the video above. Something for the May Bank Holiday weekend.   

* Back with a little time.
The above was first published as a poem in The Irish Press on 3rd of October 1946 (Wikipedia) and has its critics because of the repetition of words and the odd phrasing. Also noting from the comments that the seventh line has been changed from the original. Read from the page it is easy to find flaws but I think Kavanagh himself said somewhere that it was originally conceived as a musical piece and as such it is stunning. Luke Kelly in his recording knocks a few corners off and doing so in my humble opinion improves it greatly. There are those who find fault also with the last verse but that is to take a couple of lines out of context of what could be said to be the more important meaning or part of and what Kavanagh intended with regard to interpretation, you'll have to ask him! But as the great Leonard said, "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in". So be sure to bring your dark glasses!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Poetry Day Ireland/2021!

 Poetry Day Ireland/2021!
New Directions: Maps and Journeys.

I have a number of poems on the theme above but just the mood I'm in I went for this one!


Damn these maps
Their safe harbours
This watch for yesterday
Quartered and halved
As the wind dictates
All talk these arguments
They plot
Like hungry ghosts
They pitch and roll
Their contradictions
Till they fall
Off the Earth.

They will lose themselves
Here be dragons.

Frank Murphy  

Sunday, April 25, 2021

RTE Concert Orchestra Perform: John Lennon!

 RTE Concert Orchestra Perform: John Lennon!
To mark his 40th anniversary.

This was shown about a week ago and I think it was recorded last December. That said it was a fine production allowing for the fact that some of the orchestra were wearing masks and others not. Difficult with wind instruments I'd imagine. Better if they'd spaced them out a bit. I don't know whether my ears deceived me or not but did they drop the odd word or two from one of John Lennon's best known ballads. Haven't gone back to check but if I'm wrong: Hands up. I was also watching the film 'Rosie' back then and it's about a mother desperately trying to find accommodation for her children for the night and ending up having to sleep in a car park. I don't know about you but that sort of thing annoys me and the fact that it seems to be acceptable by the powers that be. The film stars Sarah Green and if you haven't seen it, worth a looksee. Remember the protest movements and the promises. We're politically correct about everything now in case it offends but not when it comes with a price.    

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day: Poem!

 Earth Day: Poem.

Today, April the 22nd is 'Earth Day' An international event that is celebrated around the world in support of environmental protection. The year 2021 is I believe the 51st anniversary of the celebrations. The theme this year is ' Restore our Earth'. I wrote this poem over ten years ago and things haven't changed much since. The opposite in fact.

Beyond this Point!

With not the wit to comprehend
His role in Nature's play
Quite separate from the scheme of things
He mastered all he could survey.

And thinking it a place that's strange
Of almost infinite resource
Imposed on what he can't admire
Some monument that's set in stone,
To ignorance and sometimes worse
To those a plague a curse.
Who'd measure what the profit yield
To burn the cattle in the field
And think there nothing much amiss
What kind of progress this?

Or use to ask what we have done
When fields and trees and rivers gone
And those who keep the common good
Have left a legacy that read
Caution you must be afraid
Beyond this point
There's poison laid.

Frank Murphy.