Saturday, 20 June 2015

Yeats Celebration

Great to be one of the poets chosen to celebrate Yeats on the 150th anniversary of his birth (13th June 1865) in a podcast recorded by the Scottish Poetry Library.  We were asked to read our 'favourite poem' and explain why we chose it.
You can hear many Scotland-based poets or those who read at StAnza this March including Carolyn Forche, Kei Miller, Ryan Van Winkle, Jim Carruth, Alexander Hutchinson,  many others and me in there somewhere.

 Actually the poem I chose is not my 'favourite' (I have many...especially 'The Song of Wandering Aengus' but that had been bagged already.)  I'm particularly pleased to have been included since I am steeped in Yeats. My Irish mother was always quoting by heart 'The Lake Isle of Inishfree', and 'When you are old and grey' so I knew them as a child and when I went to Trinity College, Dublin we had to study Yeats. I say, 'had to' but of course, I was delighted. Everybody seemed to be able to quote lines from Yeats at every opportunity, not just poets and English lecturers but everyone - the man and woman in the street.  It would be great if the tradition of learning poems by heart came back - both Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lochhead are doing great work promoting 'Poems by Heart' in schools.

You can hear the podcast here: Yeats Celebration- SPL podcast

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