Monday, June 01, 2009

Galong Wrap: O'Brien, Yeats, Heaney

Have to admit I hadn't paid a lot of attention to John O'Brien before Muse and Music at the Monastery (May 23-24, 2009), organized by the Friends of Ireland Canberra. But Michael Dwyer effectively drew our attention to O'Brien's eye for detail and a droll story. I might get him on CD for our next road trip.
     Don't think twice about going to a Frank O'Shea talk if he is ever on the menu. He brought the house down - actually it was Ned Ryan's Castle - with his note-free session on WB Yeats complete with recitations.
     Preparing my own paper on Seamus Heaney gave me chance to think again about favourite poems and why I am attracted to his work along with zillions of other readers. He writes about ordinary life - what he calls 'the usual thing' - and ordinary things. His poetry works at a number of levels so that even when he draws on the Classics, for example, there is still a way in or a connection for those of us who haven't. There is of course his use of language and his imagery. And there is a warmth.
     Congratulations to organizers Tania and Conor, Nikky and John, on such a successful weekend. St Clement's retreat is being developed as a conference and cultural centre - the facilities are rather good and the hospitality is marvellous. So is the historical 800 acre setting.

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