Julia Bobkoff remembers one of her favorite poets and a man well-loved.
Goodbye to “the wellspring…subtle wisdom and shining grace.”
Goodbye to “humor, care, and courtesy.”
Goodbye “to the gift of him in [Ireland’s] national life.”
Goodbye to the first poem and the last collection.
Professor of rhetoric and poet-in-residence.
From Londonderry to Dublin and every “temperate footstep” in between–
A “lifetime digging with his pen.”
Peat bogs, bread baking, mouthpiece of Northern troubles, farm boy with
Poet as holy vocation–
knowing that words well chosen could be
“a force, almost a mode of power, certainly a mode of resistance.”
Celt, Catholic, lover of Christmas–
“kind and lovely soul.”
Beloved of Faber and Faber.
Husband, father, globe-trotter, freelance scribe–
youth’s teacher, adorned with laurels, both private and paraded.
Happy to meet the buzz of this world, or sequester.
To this self-proclaimed “dabbler in verses,”
who also faced the demon of doubt, we say–
rest, rest now– a rest well-earned.
It was worth the dedication.
You will be missed in Bellaghy (ah–so many friends)!
You will be mourned and remembered,
and your squat pen.
Photo—By Frankenthalerj – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons