Lynn Saoirse story on Easter 1916
I read through each poem, and was delighted to discover some poems which were new to me, but in the end, how could any truly compete with Yeats? There are phrases in his work which resonate to the ear and the soul more deeply than any other, and always will. I have to say that Paula Meehan’s poem and Derek Mahon’s were both moving and beautifully crafted as well, but the choices from Seamus Heaney’s and Paul Durcan’s work would not be my top choices. And I would have included Mary O’Malley. I turn to her work again and again. Still, having read every entry twice, it is ‘Easter, 1916’ that most deeply reflects our history, our soul as a nation (from our love of ‘polite, meaningless phrases’ to our love of martyrdom on oh so many levels:’ too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart’.) The poem itself can be read on a personal level, a political level and a spiritual level. Nothing else has the depth and craft of the master, though, as I said, I would Give Paula and Derek a joint second. Thanks for the opportunity to look at our wealth of words. And long may we continue to add to it.