Poem of the Week S01 E20 : A Farewell to English, by Michael Hartnett. Read by Cormac Moore.

A Farewell to English, by Michael Hartnett. Read by Cormac Moore. History and poetry so often walk hand in hand in Irish literature and it was a journey I was delighted to embark on myself as I was joined in studio by writer and Dublin City Council Historian in residence, Cormac Moore. Hartnett’s beautiful poem about departing from the English language to speak only in his native tongue, taught to him by his west Limerick Grandmother. Framed wonderfully by the literal departure of the English after the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921, Cormac walked me through the images and nuances of Hartnett’s celebrated poem that chime so sharply with the real historical events. 

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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 Ireland’s former Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.