Dublin commuters are taking a break during rush hour this month to enjoy a poem by Donegal writer Denise Blake.
Denise’s work is one of a select few poems to feature in a ‘Poetry in Motion’ project ahead of Poetry Day Ireland on 2nd May.
Displays have popped up on DART trains across Dublin to celebrate the work of talented poets, which includes ‘And They All Lived Happily’ from Denise’s latest collection Invocation. She’s in good company too, with greats such as Emily Dickinson and T.S Eliot also featuring.
Denise said she is still ‘in awe’ after learning that she was chosen.
“I was absolutely thrilled to get picked. It was quite bizarre to see my name on the list of poets,” she said.
The theme of Poetry Day Ireland 2019 is Truth or Dare, and Denise’s heartfelt and humorous poem falls perfectly into the truth category.
‘And They All Lived Happily’ explores the little white lies and the truths that parents tell their children as they grow up to nourish and protect them.
The poem has resonated with many people since it appeared on Irish Rail routes.
She said: “It’s surreal to think that people sitting in Dublin who do not know me are reading it. I’ve been getting lovely messages on Twitter. A man messaged to say that he loved the poem so much that he took a picture to show his wife.”
The positive feedback she has received has helped Denise grow to respect this particular poem more, she admits, as she sees the connections that others are making with the words.
“My son’s friend saw the poem on the DART first and took a photo of it. Now a lot of his friends are liking and commenting on the picture. There is a circularity in that. I was writing about my children at the time. Now they are adults and are having their own children and going through the same problems. It’s the circle of life really,” Denise said.
As she looks forward to Poetry Day Ireland, Denise continues to write and deliver creative writing workshops in schools across the country. She is also a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1.
Her one piece of advice for young writers is this: “Find what you are good at now, when you are in school, when you make your choices.”
Denise found her passion for poetry a little later in life, but it all worked out well, she said: “I didn’t write in school. I originally did Hotel and Catering Supervision and didn’t start writing until I was in my thirties, so I’ve been very lucky with the way things have fallen.”
Read And They All Lived Happily by Denise Blake on https://www.poetryireland.ie/poetry-day/discover-poetry/truth-poems/and-they-all-lived-happily
Find Invocation at : http://limerickwriterscentre.com/product/invocation/