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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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