Tribute to Niall McDevitt

death, London, Poetry, Reflection, walking

We were saddened to hear of the death of the poet Niall McDevitt in September. Known to many of the Society’s followers as a bright presence and the poet in residence at the Hammersmith, Irish Cultural Centre. He was a multi-talented man, self-described as “poet-pyschogeographer, art-activist”. Any who took his animated, expansive and richly enjoyable literary walks will recall a dashing, elegantly coated man pausing for recall at some corner in Kensington, drawing on the vast library of poetry he carried in his head. Our mutual friend John O’Donoghue has shared with us a poem to mark his passing.

The Way

in memoriam Niall McDevitt (1967 - 2022)

And when you get to where you’ve gone I know
You’ll know the way. You’ll have it all mapped out,
Niall, except now you’re going solo.
We’re all here, though, all still hanging about
For you, at the rendezvous as arranged,
Ready for you to turn up and dazzle
Us with your talk of Yeats and Blake, deranged
Poets – Rimbaud, Verlaine – the great puzzle
Of life, death, art, and time closer to some
Resolution because you know the way.  
There you are, walking down the road, handsome
As ever, not towards now but away.
Go easy, friend, that holy map on your heart
Your guide. This isn’t the end, but the start. 

by John O'Donoghue