Musician turns to poetry/Máirtín Ó Direáin – Poetry News Roundup March 15th

In this poetry roundup, we look at the musician who turned to poetry to help get his message across and we also have an article about a new exhibition in Galway about the life of the poet Máirtín Ó Direáin.

Musician Recites Poet in Protest Song

Roger Water, the British musician who is the former frontman of the legendary band Pink Floyd, who is a long-time critic of the situation in Israel has released a debut song. The song which was released as part of the Desert Trip weekend in California was a scathing attack on Donald Trump following the Presidents decision to relocate the US embassy that is currently in Israel to Jerusalem recognising it as Israel’s capital.

The song “Supremacy” takes lyrics from the poem “The Penultimate Speech of the Red Indian to the White Man”, which was written by the man widely recognised as the national poet of Palestine, Mahmoud Darwish. The poem is seen by many as a representation of what many see as the Israeli occupation. Many people feel that Darwish is, in fact, a prominent symbol for the resistance movement.

The poem doesn’t actually make reference to Jerusalem itself, however, the timing of the release of this song and the words, together with Waters very vocal support for Palestinians, leave little room for doubt.

Trump has recently upset Palestinians further with his decision when he announced that the embassy move will take place on 14th May, the day that Israel will celebrate its 70th anniversary.

The song which is the latest condemnation by Waters of the situation was composed and performed by a trio of Palestinian Nazareth based brothers, Le Trio Jouban, on an Oud and Arabic traditional stringed instrument.

Irish Language Poet Máirtín Ó Direáin to be Honoured with Special Exhibition

Thirty years after his death Máirtín Ó Direáin, the Irish language poet is to be honoured with a special exhibition in Galway. The exhibition ‘Máirtín Ó Direáin – Fathach File / Reluctant Modernist’ will be free to the public and will run from March to July in the Hardiman Building at NUI Galway.

The exhibition has been curated by a PhD researcher from the Centre for Irish Studies and will combine material from a variety of sources; the university, state and private archives – some of which will be on public display for the first time.

The exhibition will form part of this year’s celebration of Seachtain na Gaeilge at the University.

The exhibition offers some fantastic new information on many aspects of the poet’s life, including taking a look at the respect he earned when he was a young actor in An Taibhdhearc theatre. It also sheds light on the steps he took to help promote the rights of post office workers and also the position of President that he held with Cumann na Scríbhneoirí (The Writers’ Association) based in Dublin.

Ó Direáin’s poetry has been a very important part of the syllabus for the Irish Language Leaving Certificate and will offer a great insight to students who are studying his work.

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