Poem of the Week S01 E04: Wounds by Michael Longley, read by Brian McDonagh
After Heaney, it’s difficult to think of a more important voice that came out of Northern Ireland than Michael Longley. On the public and political responsibilities of being a Northern Irish poet, he has commented: “Though the poet’s first duty must be to his imagination, he has other obligations—and not just as a citizen. He would be inhuman if he did not respond to tragic events in his own community, and a poor artist if he did not seek to endorse that response imaginatively”, and oh how we have benefited from his imagination. Longley’s Wounds, a poem where, down through the decades, humanity and inhumanity walk hand in hand is the perfect poem to reflect on this week’s commemorated date, the decommissioning of the IRA’s weapon stores. I’m joined by Labour councilor and all-round political nerd, Brian McDonagh.
About the Podcast
Poem of the Week invites you to listen to contributors recite some of their favorite poems and talk about what these poems mean to them. Presented by Morgan O’Reilly, this podcast series, originally broadcast on Near FM 2017/18, features some of Ireland’s most exciting new voices such as Jessica Traynor, Kate Dempsey, Kenneth Nolan and Alan Jude Moore alongside local people and community activists from the North Dublin area, this series offers a unique and diverse range of contributors.
Each week the featured poem will also commemorate a significant date in the calendar year fostering new and challenging perspectives into poems you thought you knew. The poems have been selected with the advice and support of Paula Meehan.