Poetry from the Church

Artist and Naomh Óg Builder Holger Lonze, living in Waterville, plays a medieval horn to welcome people to Poetry Day Ireland 2019, for Poetry Day Ireland 2019, on the early monastic settlement of Church Island or Inis Uasal, Lough Currane, Waterville. The special session included a selection of ancient music and poetry readings by Paddy De Buis and Kathleen Moran. Photos by Valerie O’Sullivan
Artist and Naomh Óg Builder Holger Lonze, living in Waterville, plays a medieval horn to welcome people to Poetry Day Ireland 2019, for Poetry Day Ireland 2019, on the early monastic settlement of Church Island or Inis Uasal, Lough Currane, Waterville. The special session included a selection of ancient music and poetry readings by Paddy De Buis and Kathleen Moran. Photos by Valerie O’Sullivan

Stephen Fernane

The 12th century Romanesque church on Church Island in Waterville proved a striking setting to celebrate National Poetry Day as 50 people gathered to rejoice in and enjoy a fusion of ancient music and the written word.

The event also served as a curtain raiser for the Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering, which takes place in Waterville from June 20-23.

And while the weather may have been unkind to culture enthusiasts, few noticed once a replica medieval horn, crafted by archaeologist and musician Billy MagFhloinn, was played by Seán Garvey beside the fiddler stone.

A macaronic, Irish and Latin hymn from the 11th Century was also chanted before an appreciative audience.

The fiddler stone - the only one of its kind in Ireland - and a cross slab were the focus of poems recited by local poet, Paddy De Buis.

 Kathleen Moran, whose family lived beside the island and now own it, also recited her poems about the 'saints and salmon' and their association with Church Island.

"It was a lovely event and it was decided to combine National Poetry Day with the launch of the Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering," said Paddy De Buis.

Paddy explained that the festival in June taps into the Amergin/Milesian myth - who were among the original Gaelic settlers in Kerry.

It's a festival of contemporary poetry that is built around the antiquity of the island, including Amergin, who was thought to be the first Kerry bard. Paddy added that it's important to present culture in a natural way that appeals to everyone.

"Tourists want to see something that is real arising from a place. We focus on organising a good poetry festival that celebrates what is worthwhile, real and genuine in the locality. I think tourists and locals alike appreciate this. We're looking forward to our festival in June."

Kerryman

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