WORDS and Silence ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 237

Sunset on the Copper Coast, Co. Waterford
Sunset on the Copper Coast, Co. Waterford

The September  and third  ‘gathering’ of the WORDS Writers’ Group at the The Art Hand took place last night. The sun was setting as I drove along the Copper Coast towards that intimate space in The Art Hand which is becoming more and more familiar.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, could have prepared me for the minute’s silence which was held to mark the death of  Seamus Heaney.  Lights switched off and all our gazes gathered on a simple candle in the middle of the table. To experience such shared love and respect brought a well of tears to my eyes but a stronger feeling than ever that Seamus Heaney’s life and work will always be held precious.

Sunset 2

It felt last night that the ‘performing’ aspect of WORDS has changed from being a nerve-wrecking experience to a well-thought out and unselfconscious presentation of  words and genres that matter hugely to each individual.

That twenty-two people could bring such a diverse range of material, contexts and emotions was breath-taking.  Memoir of ballet classes in the 1980s, neighbours in the 1950s, poetry of love and rejection, a beautiful reading of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Harvest Bow,’ a folk tale from Co. Kilkenny, reflections on tall ships and emigration, a mouth-watering piece on our relationship to chocolate, spoken song lyrics that brought Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen to mind, a lighthearted monologue on ‘talking.’

I would just love to know what’s going through the minds, hearts and imaginations of my twenty-one ‘co-brethern of the quill’ this morning!

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 I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

8 thoughts on “WORDS and Silence ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 237”

  1. I’m totally going back! The atmosphere was great, and I think I may be converted back to the delights of poetry. I wish that woman hadn’t coughed during the minute’s silence though. I know it wasn’t her fault, but I was just at the point of surrendering to it, which is rare for me, because I’m not good with silence normally.

    1. Hi Derv, thanks for writing and delighted that you found the atmosphere as magnetic as I did. Interesting about ‘not being good with silence.’ I was only thinking about that whole issue this morning.

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