Stephen Murphy performs his poem “Before You Push The Chair” in John B. Keane's pub as part of the Listowel Writers' Week this year
It's over six minutes long, but it's well worth it.
Irish poet, Stephen Murphy, wrote "Before you push the chair" having lost many friends to suicide.
“I wrote it a couple of years ago just to try and get a handle on my own struggle with the black dog. So far this year alone I've lost six friends to suicide. Of all I've written it seems to have the deepest resonance for those who've come to hear it.”
The poet has been performing live for years and was recognized in a letter sent to him personally from President Michael D. Higgins.
“Probably the nicest thing that's been said about my work came in a hand-written letter from Michael D. a couple of years ago after he saw me performing this in the Abbey, when he described my work as 'a precious contribution to our human condition, and joyful too in its possibilities envisaged.' Not that letters from the President pay the bills, but it's a lovely one to have to give to the young fella in years to come!”
You can find more about Stepehen’s work and performances here.