All posts tagged: Irish Times

‘Nightmare’ and ‘The Fall’ by Eleanor Hooker

Nightmare   A cobalt night in blue relief and the hunt begins. The green grass black and the talking baby frightens me. Bug eyed horrors hover in our shadows, lingering, carnivorous. Wailing now to let him stay, He stumbles after, the talking baby.    Drop under the yickety yackety picket fence. A treacherous fork in the road. I know well the dangers. Where I go the baby follows. I urge him back to the black green grass, behind the  yickety yackety picket fence. “You’ll be safer there” I promise.    He crawls back under with pleas to follow. We neither saw the pit that he fell in, in velvet silence. A small hand held the edge but slipped away beneath my grip. A cobalt night in blue relief and And the hunt begins.    Nightmare is © Eleanor Hooker   First published in The Stinging Fly and subsequently The Shadow Owner’s Companion The Fall   Oh she bared her soul alright; it fell from a star cloud Reigned by Canis Major. They knew it was authentic, It whimpered …

‘Calling a halt to killings in Syria’ , Irish Times 28/04/2012.

Calling a halt to killings in Syria Sir, – Credible reports that Syrian security forces have murdered people who have had contact with UN monitors represent a challenge to all of us. The United Nations acts in our name. If silence represents complicity in the face of crimes against humanity, allowing the UN to be used to select people for summary execution makes us even more culpable, unless we take action to stop the killing.The UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, even before these most recent crimes, had called for the referral of the Assad regime to the International Criminal Court.In the light of the string of recent atrocities, that makes a mockery of efforts to secure peace in Syria, surely the Dáil and Seanad will demand such action in an urgent resolution, and request the Minister for Foreign Affairs to seek to lobby the Security Council to act.Thousands have died as tanks and artillery have indiscriminately shelled besieged cities and snipers have targeted peaceful protesters. But the most egregious aspect of the Assad …

Cutting the cloth to fit the wearer, recent press about women poets.

This post is a short form critique based on recent media coverage of those women poets who had not alone dared to hoist their poetic-petards, but to have achieved a popularity which is altogether more meaty than winsome domestic. Last week, I alluded in my Tweets and indeed in this blog to the issue of poetic critique. I am taking the idea of critique a step further now, and examining the acreage of press devoted to a negative representation of women poets that somehow manages to generate column inches but ignores the actual material :  the poems that the women write. Unlike Rita Dove,  Helen Vendler, and Alice Oswald, Carol Ann Duffy has (this time) escaped the pariah-like status conferred on women poets by a media more interested in looking for gossip than adequately reviewing their books. The recent rows between Dove and Vendler, have, I believe, been generated by a bored media that needs to play fire with the writers rather than examine the middle ground in what has become a race row. Very few editors …

Mick Heaney , Arts vs politics: We haven’t got the balance right

This brief post comprises a link to Mick Heaney’s article ( Irish Times ,  18/11/2011 )  regarding a symbiotic relation between the politics of the State and Irish Arts in Ireland. I have decided to link the article here,  as blogging is a way of retaining record of items of interest that might otherwise be subsumed beneath current issues. I was unsure whether I should provide excerpts from  the Heaney article , or to try and create a contextualisation for my reaction to the piece in terms of previous arts posts that are collected here on Poethead. In the end I decided that the issue of Arts vs Politics is too important against any attempt of mine to extract pithy comment from it for readers. I have decided to limit this post to a full link to the piece, and some relevant links to what I consider to be a deep and unchallenged cultural ossification that was set in motion in 2003 by the De Valeresque Arts Act introduced by Seán O Donoghue T.D (Fianna Fáil), that not alone remains on our statute but was unchallenged by the current government in …

Do Arts Cuts hit the right note? Irish Times

‘This week’s Budget, of course, represents the Coalition Government’s thinking on the role of the arts. Both Fine Gael and Labour, who are likely to form the next government, are due to issue cultural policy documents in coming weeks. The fact that they are putting the arts on their pre-election agenda indicates that both parties have taken note of the case that has been made for the relevance of the arts in any recovery programme – both economically and in the re-establishment of national identity.’ By Gerry Smith (Irish Times 10/12/2010) This is the ultimate paragraph of The Irish Times article Do arts cuts hit the right note? I am adding it in here , along with a link to my post on Fianna Fáil Arts policy, Scribbling in the Margins. It’s my opinion that something other than attrition is what is required in terms of cultural support, including a review of the 2003 Arts Act, which has brought the work of Government too close to what should be a naturally evolving area of concern. …