Derek Mahon ~ A Beloved Poet

Derek Mahon, who has been one of my favourite poets over the years died this week, aged 78. He was born in Belfast and spent time at my alma mater, Trinity College, Dublin.

His poetry has depth and beauty as well as hope. This is among his most well-known. I hope you enjoy it:

Everything is Going to be All Right

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

Derek Mahon, from Selected Poems

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.

13 thoughts on “Derek Mahon ~ A Beloved Poet”

  1. Ties in with this pandemic of Covid 19..Yes there will be dying but hopefully there’s a light (like the Sun shining) and everything will be alright! RIP “Derek Mahon”….

    1. Yes, it ties in very much with the pandemic. Poor Northern Ireland going through a very rough time right now after a relatively low case load throughout. A tough time for them to lose one of their favourite sons.

  2. What a lovely poem. Helen Reddy also died this week. I met her when I was on Norfolk Island where she was living. We had many nice conversations at the coffee shop we both frequented. When my son was little her song, You and Me Against the World was our personal anthem. I Am Woman fueled the women’s movement in the sixties, and she said she was just writing about her challenges with men in her life and had no idea it would become legendary. I love writers and musicians. They make our world better, more interesting, and more relatable.


  3. Derek Mahon is one of my favourite poets, Jean. I love the idea of the ‘unbidden hand’. I often contemplate just who, or what, it is that produces the work we do. Whether a painting or a poem, it often feels like it is some ‘other’ that is doing the creating. I call it Divine Mother Creator. (Which, coincidentally, is the same initials as me!! 😉

  4. What an interesting thought, Dave, about the ‘unbidden hand’. I hadn’t ever contemplated much about the aspects of creativity you raise. Maybe I just savour the feeling and don’t think about the process.

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