Friday, December 28, 2007

Irish Literary Revival

I’m greatly impressed by the “Irish Literary Revival” website, (a new discovery for me), which contains the texts of out-of-print books by Sara Berkeley, Patrick Chapman, William Wall, Nessa O’Mahony, Philip Casey and others.
It’s an excellent resource for readers and authors alike. Only in existence since 2006, I imagine it will expand greatly over the coming years. Check it out:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Slimming for the Beach

Thanks to Philip Casey for plugging this blog on his own blog "Slimming for the Beach". Here's the link:
Saw Philip on Friday night at an 80th Birthday Symposium celebrating the poetry of Pearse Hutchinson.Interesting to hear, at one point, many of the poets in attendance described as belonging to a subculture that produced a less hard, less academicized brand of poetry than that which followed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dylan Thomas......sort of

While surfing for readings of poets, found this on Youtube.

Tennyson reads "The Charge of the Light Brigade"

Amazing to hear Tennyson’s voice. Sassoon, Kipling, Dylan Thomas, Yeats, Betjeman, Graves, Edith Sitwell, Plath, Ginsberg and many more can all be heard at But Tennyson - just doesn’t seem possible.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hawthorns on the mountain

Isn’t the windswept hawthorn the most perfect representation of the mountain weather in Barnesmore, Donegal. Gnarled, grizzled, stunted, they protrude from the moss-coloured slopes like the skeletons of prehistoric birds struck flightless at their moment of take-off. They are crusty old codgers caught in photogenic poses between the grey-lichened outcrops of granite and the moving outcrops that are the sheep on the mountain, and the tangling, cloud-coloured, gushing streams. They make for the best of neighbours.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wonderful Goya

"First Light", Brian Eno and Harold Budd


Amazing how inspiration can be cultivated from visiting other forms of art. I’ve turned to music: classical, eg Bach, electronic, eg Eno, Sigur Ros; painting, eg Bacon, Goya; photography, eg McCullin, Minihan.
When you feel you’re open to inspiration it’s worth checking the arts listings. Last night it was jazz in JJ Smyths: a Bill Carrothers composition entitled Peg unlocked a long- standing difficulty with a particular poem. So thanks to him, and a very enjoyable gig from the Kevin Brady Trio.