Happy New Year ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 21

Newtown Wood, Tramore, Co. Waterford
Newtown Wood, Tramore, Co. Waterford

I would like to wish all my followers and readers of Social Bridge a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2013.  The poem that I would like to bring you today is one of my all time favourites and it always strikes me as being so relevant to New Year’s Day.

I must say, too, that I love the middle line,  ‘bridges linking the past and the future,’  and hope that Social Bridge will continue to serve as a stopping point  where we meet in the present and take time to build on the myriad of connections and threads of life that we share.



Brendan Kennelly

Begin again to the summoning birds

to the sight at the light at the window,

begin to the roar of morning traffic

all along Pembroke Road.

Every beginning is a promise

born in light and dying in dark

determination and exhaltation of springtime

flowering the way to work.

Begin to the pageant of queuing girls

the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal

bridges linking the past and future

old friends passing through with us still.

Begin to the loneliness that cannot end

since it perhaps is what makes us begin,

begin to wonder at unknown faces

at crying birds in the sudden rain

at branches stark in the willing sunlight

at seagulls foraging for bread

at couples sharing a sunny secret

alone together while making good.

Though we live in a world that dreams of ending

that always seems about to give in

something that will not acknowledge conclusion

insists that we forever begin. 

From: The Essential Brendan Kennelly: Selected Poems (2011) edited by Terence Brown and Michael Longley ( Bloodaxe Books)

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

4 thoughts on “Happy New Year ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 21”

  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem that is ideal for beginning the New Year with. Happy & Healthy New Year to you, too!

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