A few months ago I visited the Seamus Heaney: Listen Again Now exhibition in the Bank of Ireland building in Dublin and passed a happy hour meandering through the wilds and words of his life.
When it came to choosing a poem for the month of May I wondered if I should seek out something Portuguese to compliment the ramble to Lisbon, and I did spend quite some time pondering over a bilingual collection of poetry in Ler Devagar, an utterly wonderful bookshop to be found in Lisbon’s LX Factory.
This month’s poem came into my hands on World Book Night. As part of the celebrations we were giving away copies of Jo Bell’s wonderful collection Kith through work and I’ve been tucking into it all week.
Every now and then in my weekly raid of the poetry collections at work I come across a poem which absolutely nails something. Whether it’s a feeling I’v been having of late, something that connects with the chapter we’re reading that week, or just the general mood brought on by seasonal change or current affairs. This poem nailed it on several accounts.
When I heard the news of Jenny Joseph’s death last month I had to pick up her poem Warning again. She was 85 when she passed away, but only 28 when she wrote this poem, the age I was when she died.
With the new year well and truly in play, I’m still preoccupied with resolutions and idea of fresh starts. I love January, as mentioned earlier this month, because it feels like the only point in the year when time might just stand still. Of course when you’re counting down the days until payday that’s not always preferable but for me it always feels like a blessing in disguise.
There isn’t much God in my Christmas. Religion doesn’t have much part in my life any other day of the year so it would be a little hypocritical to suddenly warm up to him to geg in on some birthday party.
This month I made a trip home for the first time since last Christmas. It is perhaps the longest period I’ve gone without at least a flying visit and although this trip was less than a week, we managed to take in the three places closest to my heart – Dublin, Donegal and Tyrone.
As the dark nights set in and the chill descends, it can be hard to keep your chin up. My other half feels the change of seasons very strongly, probably because of his Mediterranean blood which so craves the sun. So in order to stave off a bout of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) getting out and about during the brief hours of winter daylight is very important.
Charles Bukowski is an interesting chap. He intrigues me but I gather from friends who have ventured deeper into his smoky, whiskey-soaked world, that I may not particularly like him if I get to know him too well. Which is why I’m inclined to keep my distance for now.