Paddy Smith and myself were asked to provide about 30 minutes of Irish poetry for a group of visitors to Trim and to Meath who were investigating their Irish roots as part of The Gathering.
We came up with the following list which with short introductions actually went on for nearer 50 minutes. But no-one complained and the audience enjoyed the readings greatly. Paddy introduced the event, and then we took turns.
We had quite a discussion as regards the composition of the list. Paddy, a former journalist, was strong on the entertainment aspect of the poems while I, the former teacher, wanted to include the important Irish poets.
We made sure to include some Meath poets and I also thought it important that we read one in Irish. You can figure out which were Paddy's selection and which mine.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Biddy Mulligan Seamas Kavanagh
Anois Teacht an Earraigh Antaine Ó Raifteirí (1784-1835)
I see His Blood Upon the Rose Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887-1916)
Lament for Thomas MacDonagh Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917)
The Fairies William Allingham. (1824-1889)
The Stolen Child William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Father and Son F. R. Higgins (1896-1941)
Digging Seamus Heaney (1939- )
Kerr's Ass Patrick Kavanagh (1904-1967)
The Priesting of Father John
A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Are You Right There Michael Percy French (1854-1920)
A Soft Day Winifred M. Letts (1882-1972)
The Great Blasket Island Julie O’Callaghan (1954- )
Bewley’s Café Paul Durcan (1944- )
The Song of Wandering Aengus William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)