Poem of the Week S01 E25 : ‘Quarantine’ by Eavan Boland. Read by Noel Mac Canna.

One of my favourite chats of the series. Noel Mac Canna and his daughter Aoife are both long ime Near volunteers as well as being very knowledgable in music and literature. Despite this, I was blown away by Noel’s engagement with Boland’s poem. It’s a terribly poignant poem, brimming with the power of pathos and Noel just got it. He absolutely got it and this was reflected in both his reading of the poem and in his analysis during our chat. You porbably know this one, as Boland is a common fixture on the Leaving Cert but if you don’t know this one, do yourself a favour and listenj back to Noel Mac Canna walking us through the darkest hour of Irish history and the poetic consequences. 

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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.