Monday 14 October 2019

Poetry volume launched

AT THE LAUNCH: Left to right, Ulick O'Connor, Joe Ledwidge (nephew of the poet) and Des Geraghty. Photo: Tony Gavin
AT THE LAUNCH: Left to right, Ulick O'Connor, Joe Ledwidge (nephew of the poet) and Des Geraghty. Photo: Tony Gavin

THE Irish poet Francis Ledwidge is now internationally recognised as one of the great World War One poets alongside Edmund Blunden, Wilfrid Owen, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Robert Graves.

Ledwidge, from Slane, Co Meath, was killed in Flanders on July 31, 1917, having survived the Gallipoli landings in 1915.

He was sent home ill in 1916 but returned to the front the following year. A new volume, The Best of Francis Ledwidge , edited by Liam O'Meara with an introduction by Ulick O'Connor, was launched in Liberty Hall, Dublin last Monday by Des Geraghty. It is published by the Inchicore Ledwidge Society (Riposte Books, ?15) and is a judicious selection of the poet's best work.

The following lines are from Ledwidge's June :

And loop this red rose in that hazel ring

That snares your little ear, for June is short

And we must joy in it and dance and sing,

And from her bounty draw her rosy worth.

Ay! soon the swallows will be flying south,

The wind wheel north to gather in the snow,

Even the roses spilt on youth's red mouth

Will soon blow down the road all roses go.

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