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The Lockdown Diaries: 'I'm taking solace in new family traditions during this cruellest month of April'

Gráinne Sexton


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My favourite poem is called 'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot. Since studying the poem for the Leaving Cert, I've grown to love it, often reading a few verses before bed and packing a battered copy in my suitcase every time I travelled home.

When the Covid-19 crisis began, I found myself reaching for 'The Waste Land', hopeful that it would offer some escape and distraction. Five weeks into quarantine and the volume on my bedside table remains untouched.

The first section begins 'April is the cruellest month'. Before Covid-19, I never really dwelt on this opening phrase, usually skipping past it in my eagerness to reach the knottier, more evocative parts of the poem. Now the line strikes an uncomfortable chord, forcing me to reflect upon the reality of our current situation.