Monday, 30 June 2008

Poem Suggestion

I received this email from


I picked up a leaflet in the library to day ‘Poems in the Waiting Room’ – what a great idea. Can I suggest a poem for a future leaflet? This one appeared on the recent Leaving. Cert. Higher level English paper as the unseen poem. It reminds me of my own lovely kind father.


She attached the lovely poem, 'Those Winter Sundays' by Robert Hayden.

Well, to respond to your suggestion, I know the poem well. I first came across it in the lovely poetry anthology from Bloodaxe, Staying Alive (or maybe it was Being Alive). The problem is that the poem is still in copyright, he died in 1980, so we would have to pay to include it. We try to keep paying for rights to living poets so most of the poems are out of copyright.

I won't quote it here so I don't breach copyright (but try googling it if you want to read it.)
Any more suggestions?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

More Interest in our Project

The leaflets have started being distributed.
Naas Hospital are raising awareness in their waiting rooms and the leaflets should be out next week.
The 15 Kildare libraries will receive their leaflets this week.
We are in the process of contacting Doctor's surgeries and posting out or hand delivering to everyone who expresses an interest.
We are especially keen to get feedback from the readers, the visitors and staff as well. Comments are appreciated, good or bad.

We have an article in the Liffey Champion and will be on KFM radio. also feature us here.

And we have been picked up by no less illustrious a publication than The New Yorker.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Dublin's Evening Herald

We're in Dublin's Evening Herald newspaper. A whole page (minus an advert for the Anglo Irish Bank) on page 23.

Just what the doctor ordered - waiting room reading gets a dose of culture with free poetry leaflets.

By Sarah Neville.

A great article. I hope loads of people read it and drop by the website. I hope some doctor's read it and get in touch.

Just a couple of corrections.

We have 2,000 leaflets, not 2,000 poems. We have 6 poems in this first issue. We are sponsored by Kildare County Council Arts Service.

Poems in the Waiting Room was established in the UK in 1995. And not by the National Health but by an Arts In Health Charity. And they are supplying over 1,000 waiting rooms each quarter with a total of 22,000 leaflets, a great achievement. It is no longer supported by the Arts Council but by a number of charitable trusts, including the Beatrice Trust, The Tanner Trust and The Oakdale Trust.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Iggy McGovern reads 'The King of Suburbia'

Iggy reading the Title Poem of his collection

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Iggy McGovern - The Difference

Iggy McGovern was born in Coleraine and lives in Dublin where he is Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity College. His poetry has been widely published in anthologies and journals in Ireland and abroad, as well as in the popular ‘Poetry in Motion’ series on trains in the Dublin suburban rail system (DART). Well-known for his witty, playful, but emotionally engaged poems, McGovern is the recipient of the McCrae Literary Award and the Hennessy Literary Award for poetry.

The Difference is a poem from his first collection, The King of Suburbia. It is subtitled for Eoin. This was published in November 2005 for which he received the Glen Dimplex Poetry Award.

You can download and listen to Iggy reading some of his poems on the Dedalus Press website where you can also order the book.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Ann Egan - Aspen Falls

Ann Egan was born in 1948 in Co Laois. Her collections are Landing the Sea (Cork, Bradshaw Books, 2003); and The Wren Women (Ballyclare, Co Antrim, The Black Mountain Press, 2003). She has won numerous prizes for her poetry, including several at Listowel Writers’ Week; The Athlone Poetry Prize; The Annamakerrig Prize, 75 years of RTE radio and in 2001, the Oki Prize. She lives in Co Kildare.

The poem 'Aspen Falls' in our first leaflet is taken from the collection 'Landing the Sea.' This can be ordered from Bradshaw books and all good bookshops.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Hope - Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. She was a prolific private poet, choosing to publish fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems. The work that was published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinson's poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often utilize slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Her poems also tend to deal with themes of death and immortality, two subjects which infused her letters to friends.
She died on May 15, 1886.

Despite her prolific writing, fewer than a dozen of her poems were published during her lifetime. After her younger sister Vinnie discovered the collection of nearly eighteen hundred poems, Dickinson's first volume was published four years after her death. Until the 1955 publication of Dickinson's Complete Poems by Thomas H. Johnson, her poetry was considerably edited and altered from their manuscript versions. Since 1890 Dickinson has remained continuously in print.

See Wikipedia for more information on her life and works.

'Hope' is the fourth part of a longer poem called 'Life.' It was written around 1861. It is an extended metaphor using a bird for Hope. Why not download the poster of the poem and frame or laminate it for your waiting room or staffroom? You order The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson published by Faber from Amazon and all good bookshops.

Here is a good analysis of the poem, Hope.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Sonnet 130 Recitation

Alan Rickman reciting this sonnet.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

William Shakespeare - Sonnet 130

William Shakespeare was baptised 26 April 1564 in Stratford upon Avon in England. He was an poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. He died on 23 April 1616.

The Sonnets were published in 1609, but Scholars are not certain when each of the 154sonnets was composed; Evidence suggests that Shakespeare wrote sonnets throughout his career for a private readership.

In Sonnet 130 included in our first leaflet, the poet satirises the tradition of comparing one's beloved to all things beautiful under the sun, and to things divine and immortal as well. It is often said that the praise of his mistress is so negative that the reader is left with the impression that she is almost unlovable. On the contrary, although the first part makes many negative comparisons, the second part contrives to make one believe that the sound of her voice is sweeter than any music, and that she far outdistances any goddess in her merely human beauties and her mortal approachability.

This is the sonnet as originally published:

M Y Miſtres eyes are nothing like the Sunne,
Currall is farre more red,then her lips red,
If ſnow be white,why then her breſts are dun:
If haires be wiers,black wiers grow on her head:
I haue ſeene Roſes damaskt,red and white,
But no ſuch Roſes ſee I in her cheekes,
And in ſome perfumes is there more delight,
Then in the breath that from my Miſtres reekes.
I loue to heare her ſpeake,yet well I know,
That Muſicke hath a farre more pleaſing found:
I graunt I neuer ſaw a goddeſſe goe,
My Miſtres when ſhee walkes treads on the ground.
And yet by heauen I thinke my loue as rare,
As any ſhe beli'd with falſe compare.

Why not download the poster of the poem and frame or laminate it for your waiting room or staffroom? You order Shakespeare's Sonnets published by many publishers from Amazon and all good bookshops.