Friday, 1 December 2017

Give me Your Hand: My Time poem

So pleased to have a poem chosen for the 'My Time' project organized by Voluntary Arts and the Scottish Poetry Library - poems inspired by your hobby or other creative activity.  My passion is dancing.  (Although I work as a dance reviewer, my dancing ability is very much at an amateur level now.)
The poem 'Give me Your Hand' takes its title from the Irish tune and came about after a dance therapy workshop, in particular a trust-building exercise,  given by students at Queen Margaret's University held at Dance Base, Edinburgh.
I am delighted to have been able to  also use this poem as a springboard to poetry writing at one of my own creative writing workshops for a group of hearing impaired adults. We sat in a circle,  held hands and acted out these movements in silence. It is a wonderful experience. Do try it!

Give me Your Hand
Touch finger tip to finger tip,
thumbs, index to index,
tall man to tall man,
ring to ring, pinkie to pinkie.
Take this invisible gift
in the cradle of your hands
shield it, as it flickers in the draft
of all our cold, dreich days.
Here is a word without vowel or consonant.
It is a language you have never heard before
but understand immediately.
We will never be the same again.

Pinkie: (Scots) for the little finger.
Dreich: (Scots) drear, miserable weather

You can hear the tune that inspired the title 'Give Me Your Hand' (Tabhair dom do Lámh in Irish) a tune from the early 17th century by Ruaidri Dáll Ó Catháin, the blind harpist (c.1570-c.1650) via You Tube Listen to it Here.

The story behind the song is a charming one of reconciliation between Ruaidri and Lady Eglington after a quarrel and this tune is his plea for forgiveness. I haven't used the story literally - only its spirit. See
Full story

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