Sad to hear of the passing of Kerry’s great Poet, Brendan Kennelly at the age of 85, and within months of his daughter, Doodle.
I had the great good fortune to study Poetry Composition under Brendan at the Oscar Wilde Centre in Trinity College Dublin in 2000-01, part of the Mphil in Creative Writing.
He was at that time, & for several decades previous, a bestselling, widely-read poet who had the ear of the Irish public & made regular appearances to recite poetry on national TV & Radio – we have no equivalent today.
Brendan was a very good & very popular teacher who emphasised meticulous attention to detail and encouraged me to compose with my passions, in our own Hiberno-English dialect, bringing the characters & tales of my Irish small-town youth to life on the page.
Under Brendan’s guidance I wrote many poems that went on the form part of my first collection The Boy in The Ring.
He was an extremely kind man and many’s a student benefited from his generosity.
I once asked him how he composed his poems. He replied ‘I go for a walk’.
Sounded like a weak response at the time, but it’s the best piece of poetry composition advice I have ever received – better than a whole library of ‘How-to’ books. My last collection Medium was written mostly while walking around my 5k in Bray during the lockdown.
I don’t believe poets of Brendan’s stature die. His poems live on of course – they are life itself – but he too has his place in mystical Hybrassil, on the island of poets & heros that outlive & overcome all human tragedy.
Contact Dave Lordan at firstname.lastname@example.org