Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Poem, A Plaque


A few weeks ago, Dundalk Town Council's Arts Office invited me to come over and launch the poem they commissioned me to write, celebrating 15 years of the Arts Office existing in Dundalk, at their annual music bursary awards. They had the poem cast in bronze, which is wonderful although a tad daunting, because it's permanent - so I just hope I got it right.

The poem grew from a recording I was invited to be part of back in August 2009. Dundalk Arts Office was leaving its then premises and moving back into the Town Hall, in the Basement Gallery. Many prominent figures in Dundalk's arts life were asked to come and talk to Harry Lee, of Dundalk FM about how the arts had developed over the past fifteen years.

There were musicians, artists, writers and people involved in drama who spoke of the importance of the arts office and how it enabled people to become more involved in the artistic development of different areas in Dundalk. I enjoyed being a part of that programme, as well as listening to all the figures talking about their experiences. Whether politicians or people on the ground, each person's perspective was interesting and I tried to encapsulate that into the poem.

I know it has especial resonance for those in Dundalk, but perhaps it may not make sense to those outside the town - but that's okay. That's the thing about a commission - you can't please (fool) all the people, all of the time.

Feel free to click on the picture - you should be able to read the poem :)

17 comments:

Michael Farry said...

Well Done Barbara, immortalised in bronze!

Niamh B said...

That's really cool, congrats

Padhraig Nolan said...

Wow, I AM impressed. Bronzed and immortal!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Cast in bronze! Somewhere near Durrus I read some lines by S.Heaney cast in stone ( taken from "Postscript" the last poem in "The Spirit Level" collection), but in bronze...
I hope you will be able to put it in your blog...

Rachel Fenton said...

This is brilliant, Barbara!

JAKI MCCARRICK said...

Well done Barbara. Will check it out as soon as I can. Hope all is well with you.

BarbaraS said...

Thanks very much guys - at the moment it is housed in the Basement Gallery in the Town Hall. I think it will be attached to a building eventually - to weather away in the elements...

I just hope they don't have to sell of the family bronze, as I heard someone referring to the forthcoming sell-off VHI by our ever-wise and all-knowing government (ptoo, ptoo (that's me spitting, in case you're wondering).

Peter Goulding said...

Now that is pretty impressive. And it gives me something to go and look at the next time we're playing in Oriel.

Dick said...

Well, that certainly beats a fleeting appearance on paper or pixels, Barbara. Well done!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

What a wonderful commission & honour, and very well done, Barbara.

Frances said...

Fantastic. I'd be terrified I got a comma in the wrong place...

Michelle said...

Fantastic! xxxxx

BarbaraS said...

Thanks N, it's nice to have something like this in me home town :)

You're dead right, Frances, I was checking and re-checking like crazy!

Michelle, as always, thanks :))))

BarbaraS said...

Dick, you're far too kind, thanks!

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

It must give you a real warm glow Barbara to see your words given the bronze treatment - it gives me a warm glow just knowing the woman who wrote those wonderful words to a town she loves and is part of.

BarbaraS said...

Thank you Kay - lovely words from you, as always :)

Dominic Rivron said...

Not many of us find ourselves cast in bronze. More enduring than paper. I couldn't help thinking that one day it might end up in a museum as an archaeological artifact - a 3,000 year-old poem from ancient Ireland!