The Metre Archives

The Éigse Michael Hartnett  Facebook group linked to The Metre archives this week. Here are poetic treasures including essays, interviews, translations and reviews. The link that I just embedded above contains two Hartnett translations, Clocán Binn and Cén Áinius , introduced and discussed by Michael Smith. Metre was edited by Justin Quinn and David Wheatley.

I decided to add the site onto my Irish Poetry Imprints blogroll so that my readers can do their own exploring rather than have me discuss the poems that I like. 

Clocán Binn

Calling bell’

‘Brought here by wild wind nightly
I would contest your clarion
Rather than war with women’

Translated by Michael Hartnett

I am linking my favourite download here with a recommendation to read the entire. The essay discusses a few preoccupations of mine with regards to dissipation of (unrenewable) poetic energies, performance, audience and response.

O’ Driscoll quotes  George Mackay Brown who interests me, and  who is represented on this blog with his poem, The Masque of Bread.  I feel that George Mackay Brown is quite a neglected poetic voice, given the cragged and ruggedness of his expression, and  his use of symbol (especially in his use of light symbol).

O’Driscoll brings Pliny’s letters into his discussion, and the art of Vona Groarke. I tend to subscribe to the Yeatsian adages about solitary writing myself, but it is interesting to look at an aspect of poetic writing which I feel intrigues many poets. Wallace Stevens had a horror of public-reading and is quoted here saying that he had no interest in being a troubadour and that he found public readings of poetry ghastly.

I remember coming up against the reading or not reading issue in college whilst studying Julian of Norwich, who I believed to have written or dictated her works just for the inner ear, where the reader of the pages she offered could discern The Revelation of Love‘s musicality all by themselves. Needless to say my theory was met with a consternation (which I have not forgotten).

I have linked the entire O’Driscoll essay here. 

There is an under-developed Sound and Voice category on this blog which I have linked. I hope to add some new Kit Fryatt links there soon. I am also becoming fascinated with contemporary textual and sound poetry as a result of finishing the Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Pennsylvania course which I detailed in my Open Salon Blog.

About Metre

Metre was a magazine of poetry that ran for seventeen issues from 1995 to 2005. For most of that period it was edited by Justin Quinn and David Wheatley. It presented original poetry, reviews, interviews and essays. Published and printed in Ireland, edited by two Irish people, it nonetheless billed itself as ‘A Magazine of International Poetry‘: the desire was present from the outset to provide a platform for the best of Irish work alongside the best from the UK, US, Australia as well as work in translation.

The magazine could not have continued without the generous support of the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and occasional support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Also, patrons and sponsors generously contributed to our costs from the outset.

This site presents a database of PDFs of original contributions to the magazine, and is hosted by the Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague, under the auspices of the Centre for Irish Studies.

An evening of women’s literature at the Irish Writer’s Centre (06/01/2012)

The Irish Writer’s Centre,  last evening  06/01/2012,  hosted along with Dublin City Council a celebration of women’s poetry, music and literature to mark Oíche Nollaig Na mBan (Women’s Christmas). The event was presented by June Considine.

And what a night it was.

The event was bi-partite in structure, with readings by three poets and story-tellers to begin, a brief interval filled with music was quickly followed by three more readings by three more women writers. The first half was decidedly poetic, with readings in English and Irish by Celia de Fréine, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Eilis Ní Dhuibhne.

Celia De Fréine read In Relation to Each Other, Dearbhail , Celia Óg , and Ophelia. Dearbhail was indeed heart-breaking, the tale of the murder of Dearhbail by jealous women.

Eilis Ní Dhuibhne read two tales , The Man Who Had No Story and The Blind. 

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill read from a few collections, Including from my favourite Pharaoh’s Daughter, with translations by Paul Muldoon,  Michael  Hartnett,  and Dr. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.  Poems read included , The Language, Dán do Melissa, and Closure.

Music flowed along with wine  as Jane Hughes on cello & Ellen Cranitch on flute played a selection from Carolan and Tchaikovsky, including the much giggled upon Fanny Power.

Interval over, the business of literature reared it’s head in the shape of Mary O Donnell ,who read from a WIP about Northern Ireland , alongside two  poems which were tremendous and indicate a wonderful talent in two quite distinct areas of writerly discipline.

Sarah Clancy charmed the crowd with her Argument Poems , which included Ringing in Sick  To Go Mermaid-Hunting,  Cinderella Backwards , and Riot Act. 

Mia Gallagher topped the evening off with some reading from her upcoming book.

This should not have been a unique evening in the calendar. There  are hints of more such evenings being planned, the audience was mixed  between the sexes and they were always interested. It was utterly charming, eclectic and beautifully balanced. I expect that people who wish more detail on the music and books can contact the Irish Writer’s Centre directly. Kudos to the board, volunteers and organisers for a great evening.

Pic by Stephanie Joy