Tonn Toime - new translation from Ó Rathaille

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Nature, Poetry

The Wave of Toime is the latest in a series of translations for the ILS by Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). ‘Tonn Toime’ describes the disturbed sleep of the poet and his appeal to the chieftains of the past for respite and a return to the …

Richard Needham: One Man, Two Worlds

Gavin Clarke Brexit, COVID-19, economics, northern ireland, Troubles

Members will recall our October 2019 event ‘The Belfast Agreement and Brexit‘ and the dejected tone of most contributions that evening as we approached the January 2020 point of departure. While sharing the dismay of our panel at the shift to populism that had taken hold of British politics Richard Needham shifted the debate to consider the economic factors that …

Journey Around My Room

Gavin Clarke Architecture, COVID-19, Family, Reflection, technology

After over a year of our retreating to private spaces Emma Devlin reflects on distance and technology, and how her room in a shared house in Belfast reflects and records her presence. Journey Around My Room By EMMA DEVLIN I looked up my flat on Google maps. The two squares of scrappy land just outside the front door used to …

The Settlement: Family history and writing a historical novel.

Gavin Clarke Family, history, Troubles

By RUTH KIRBY-SMITH How ironic it is that I ended up writing a historical novel as history was my least favourite school subject. As an insouciant fourteen-year-old I was cheeky to the toughest history master at Methodist College Belfast; he gave me such a roasting that it was still remembered at our 50-year reunion in 2017. I never turned a …

Cabhair ni Ghoirfead, a new translation.

Gavin Clarke death, irish, language

A new translation is presented here of ‘Cabhair ni Ghoirfead’ (Poem XXI) by the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century Aodhagán Ó Rathaille. Patrick Dinneen, lexicographer and translator of Ó Rathaille, considered it the pinnacle of his work. The verse dates from late in the poet’s life (c.1670–1726) and is included in the excellent Dánta Aodhagáin …

The WB Yeats Bedford Park Project

Gavin Clarke history, London, Poetry, statue

By CAHAL DALLAT Opening a Can of Worms “Why would London want to honour Ireland’s national poet?” is the question, asked in a range of tones and phrasings. The starting point’s that it clearly does, as half our WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project backers on the crowdfund page (where you can read more on Londoner Conrad Shawcross RA’s Yeats-inspired …

Judy O’Kane, two poems.

Gavin Clarke COVID-19, Poetry

My work, both prose and poetry, is interested in how we occupy space. This poem looks back to the early days of the pandemic in the run up to Easter. I was fascinated by how we delineated space. The simple act of walking seemed to become formalised, even performative as we traversed the park, giving way to each other. The …

Writing Today in Ulster Scots

Gavin Clarke history, language, Poetry, translation, Ulster Scots

By ANGELA GRAHAM Why is it so hard to find writing in Ulster Scots among contemporary publications? Has it gone for good or is it poised to make a come-back? Up to the mid-twentieth century it was commonplace to find Ulster Scots poetry and prose in literary magazines or in newspapers but now it is exceptional. Although there is a …

Sybil Connolly’s In an Irish House.

Gavin Clarke Architecture, design, history

By PATRICIA JENKINS Sybil Connolly was a world-renowned Irish fashion designer – the first to achieve international recognition for her couture collections. She took her inspiration from the traditional costume of Irish peasant women in fashioning a classically simple ensemble made up of a full circular skirt worn with a light-coloured frilly blouse and teamed with a woollen shawl, all …