This week's poem is "Consumption". It's on the Poetcasting website. Poetcasting is the brainchild of Alex Pryce, a 21-year-old poet and student of English from Northern Ireland. The site has audios - with short resumés and photos - of UK and Irish poets reading their work. I met Alex Pryce at an Arvon course in Yorkshire in 2007.
I read Consumption here. The text is here.
There is a nice mention of the poem here in an article on Poetcasting.
This poem is part of a series of poems telling a story based in Sligo in the early 1920s. Beatrice, the heroine, is recounting the decline and death of her mother from TB or consumption. It was shortlisted for the Sligo Scríobh Poetry competition 2006 and published in the volume “Scríobh Poetry Competition 2004-2006” by the Model Arts and Niland Gallery Sligo.
I'm using a picture of my grandparents Thomas Harrington (1898-1987) and Bridget Harrington (nee Gallagher) (1900-1932). They married in 1918 when he was twenty, she eighteen. Bridget died of TB in Cloonamahon sanatorium, Collooney on 15 August 1932 leaving a young family of two girls and four boys. One of those daughters, my aunt Margaret, is still alive in Sydney, Australia.