Bards and their Poems Today and Tomorrow
Somewhere along the line when keyboarding the text of this homage to the Bards
of Ireland using only my left hand--I have a greater admiration than ever for
world renowned Christy Brown who had only the physical use of his left foot--it
has turned into a millennium project, a celebration of the bardic past and a
look into the future. That future already shows signs of being a successful
continuum, and the poetry of present-day writers bodes well in carrying forward
the tradition of former bards. With it, there is an accompanying public appreciation
of their work.
This last century of the second millennium has seen two Nobel Prizes in literature
being awarded to Irish poets, William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney. The latter's
work is presently serving to engage the reading and travelling public in a novel
venture undertaken by public transportation authorities in the Six Counties,
that portion of Ireland still governed by England at the time of this writing,
the 9th of September, 1999.
As reported by Jacqueline Hogge in the Irish News of August 26:
"Belfast commuters are to be educated in the finer points of poetry as
they make it through the city's rush hour.
'Poetry in Motion' was launched at the Europa Bus Centre yesterday, with readings
by local children of two poems which will adorn the inside panels of city buses
in the greater Belfast region.
Seamus Heaney's 'The Errand' and William Carlos Williams's 'This is Just to
Say' are the two pieces chosen to stimulate passengers as they travel during
the National Year of Reading....
With nearly 150 buses in the north west already displaying the poetry, the
move to Belfast [from Derry] brings the city in line with Dublin and London,
whose transport networks already feature poetic samples."
By a strange coincidence, a rural bus ride in another part of Ireland provided
the theme for the first offering in this section, a piece penned by my brother
Brian, which I have chosen from examples written by immediate family members.
No claim is made as to merit. They merely show that, at one time or another,
Wards still feel the urge to follow in the steps of their ancestors and, if
God so wills, will continue to do so.
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