Poetry Day Ireland takes place on Thursday 30 April 2020 and the theme this year is ‘There will be time’. Whether you share a poem, read a poem, or programme your own online event, everyone is invited to join in and celebrate this day. The fact that the theme for this day is on time could not be more apt (even if it was decided months before our current experience of living through a very different time and rhythm of life) given the challenges of life lived in a COVID19 environment.
Poetry has always been an integral part of Irish culture and expression. Sharing something of the poetry we love comes naturally, often usually through the spoken word, with the primal rhythm of the beat as vital as the words. Poetry carries us through life experiences, very often managing to articulate those things we could never put words on ourselves, was it not for the poets among us. In fact the poet and theologian Padraig O’Tuama has often spoken of poetry as prayer, and Seamus Heaney of the vocation to be ‘bard’.
So for the day that it is – here is an extract from John O’Donohue’s book: ‘Benedictus – A Book of Blessings’. It is a piece on the nature of time.
The nature of calendar time is linear; it is made up of durations that begin and end.
The Celtic imagination always sensed that beneath time there was eternal depth.
This offers us a completely different way of relating to time.
It relieves time of the finality of ending.
While something may come to an ending on the surface of time,
its presence, meaning, and effect continue to be held and integrated into the eternal.
This is how spirit unfolds and deepens.
In this sense, eternal time is intimate;
it is where the unfolding narrative of individual life is gathered and woven.
Eternal life is eternal memory;
therefore, it becomes possible to imagine a realm beyond endings
where all that has unfolded is not cancelled or lost,
but where the spirit-depths of it are already arriving home.
~ John O’Donohue
(The representation of the text as above is solely my own).
For information on Poetry Day Ireland see HERE
For links to the work and interviews with John O’Donohue see HERE