Reclaim 1916 – Poetry Competition Winners

 poetry-comp-one poetry-comp-two poetry-comp-three poetry-comp-four poetry-comp-six poetry-comp-seven poetry-comp-eight poetry-comp-nine poetry-comp-ten poetry-comp-eleven poetry-comp-thirtheen poetry-comp-fourteenPress Release :

Reclaim the Vision of 1916 – a Citizens’ Initiative

International Poetry Competition 2016 Result

THEME: The Vision of 1916: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Inspired by the strong connections between poetry and the Easter Rising – often known
as the “Poets’ Revolution” – we are proud to announce that our International Poetry
Competition 2016 is now completed and we are ready to announce the winners.

Many of the Rising’s leaders were accomplished poets, including Pádraic Pearse, Joseph Mary Plunkett, James Connolly – and the eminent ThomasMacDonagh. Also
acclaimed for his talents as a teacher, playwright, Irish language scholar, and literary theorist, it is in MacDonagh’s honour that we have chosen for the competition’s first
prize, the Robert Ballagh-designed Thomas MacDonagh Medal (along with a cash award of €1,000).

In its aftermath, the Rising motivated a generation of poets of national and international renown – includingd George Russell (AE), Francis Ledwidge, Padraic Colum, James Stephens, Sean O’Casey, Eva Gore-Booth and William Butler Yeats – to reflect upon its ideals, events, men and women, and consequences. Alongside these can be placed a

succession of Irish language poets that includes Liam S Gógan, Máirtín Ó Direáin, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Eoghan Ó Tuairisc and Seán Ó Tuama.

The competition was open to persons over the age of sixteen years living on the island of Ireland or abroad. We were delighted to receive a large number of entries.

Poems were in English, Irish, or any of the languages in common use in Ireland today (with either English or Irish translations).

Poets Catherine Ann Cullen and Louis de Paor and writer and Ciaran Carty editor of the Hennessy New Irish Writing page in the Irish Times.

Professor Michael Cronin acted as the competition’s Languages’ Advisor.

First: Thomas MacDonagh Medal, plus €1,000
Second: €500
Third: €250
The following are the titles of the winning entries;
Easter Mourning
Death of Cuchulainn

—————————————      JUNE 17th 2016 RESULTS       —————————————-

Reclaim the Vision of 1916 poetry competition was a huge success with some really great poems but as with all competitions there can only be one winner.

The overall winner was Derek Collins with his entry which was called “Easter Mourning” Runners up were in 2nd place Sinead Griffin with her poem “Matriarch” and in joint 3rd were Michael Casey with “Death of Cuchulainn?”& Proinsias Mac A’Bhaird with Reibiliúach who was unable to attend on the night.

(In joint 3rd place Proinsias Mac A’Bhaird with Reibiliúnach who was unable to attend )

The standard of the poetry submitted was excellent and our judges Catherine Anne Cullan, Ciaran Carty and Louis de Paor had their work cut out for them going through all the submissions.

We would like to thank all of the entrants for taking the time to enter the competition. Below are the winning poems, enjoy;

Easter Mourning –Derek Collins

In sighed awl red, now read and bleed if you must and you must
Foresee in this, you can believe that we can see that we can seed
That we can cede, we can concede
You must believe we can achieve some greater good beyond this hood
Beyond this little minded… call it what you… Crips against the Bloods
The Catholic, the Protestant
The state of meant, the state of should
The state of you, the state of me
The state of liber-fucking-ty
Who’s fooling who, hear people’s rights?
I don’t see you making a change
Are you talking to me?
Annnnd that’s what it comes down to see
Our parents broke their backs in bits so that we could be safe and warm
And sheltered from the same old storm
And that’s been raging since the day and before then, when I was born
And before we let it rage, we’re in a cage, blind little rats
The fuckers watch us spend our lot and toy our wounds like feral cats
Not skinny either, Fucker’s fat
Believe in that, Cause that’s a fact
Controlling you – Controlling me
Is this the land here of the free?
I don’t feel free , I don’t feel safe
Ahh start again, deny the rape
And round and round and round we go
And poor befuddled stupid Joe and stupid Jill
Who pays the bill?
We always will
Until, you see, until you be
I don’t want another child here
To need to need to plead to be
What?! We leave this proud history
Until these fields that we have sown
Renounce this shit, denounce, disown
But we don’t learn – we think we earn
But all we do is bury me, and bury you
And that’s the truth
It’s time to get up now – That’s the alarm
Get up t’fuck


Matriarch  — Sinead Griffin
Great-grandmother, Grainne

Carved with the crevices of time and history,
Her face was a rocky precipice.
Each generation since seemed diminished.

Put to sit with her, you didn’t fidget,
Didn’t speak. Tight-lipped, she’d stare into the fire,
Far eyes that resisted the distance back.

Her room behind the front porch was a shut door.
Unless a rare errand up the stone step,
Let you push the metal latch, open a glimpse.

A three-mirrored vanity fanned the lattice,
Its mahogany laid over with lace,
A squat white bottle of Anaïs Anaïs.

Brooches, trinkets, letters with strange stamps.
The faded sepia of a man,
A pack of cigarettes in a drawer.

Trust relics, God, the Pope, the dead.
Sing to those that died for Ireland,
Her own stories she’d never bequeath.

Words spoken can curl into consequence,
Stories a territory better kept close,
Brought with her to the hillside at Cruagh.


Death of Cuchulainn? — Michael Casey

Like the Pieta, the statue is impossible;
as such an angle the body could not
be held by those bindings, by sinews,
or be the sword-arm that circles the rock.
Generations of loss and fore-knowledge
of overwhelming force, too bravely dismissed,
strain for balance in the body’s canted form.
Is there a flicker left to keep the fight alive,
as Prometheus tried to survive the rage of gods
thrown into vengeful confusion by his valour?
Despite the terrible slump of head, a hero
does not die completely even when leached
of war frenzy or when the scald-crow leaves
the black cavern and descends in final betrayal
with a wounding kiss of its tainted beak,
and sword and shield begin to slip from grasp
and with them all inspiring urges of the heart.
Where the heroism in an empire winning?
Victors know one thing; the defeated many things
among them this: every war is won as well as lost.
Was it mere drama to unveil the deeper truth
to observers lining the road to Calvary? Even so,
it will suffice if the promise of revival holds.



Reibiliúnach–  Proinsias Mac A’Bhaird

Ní thugann staraithe le fios
cé acu ar shil sé deor
in aghaidh an ghunna.

Luaitear an phaidir
a thit go tripallach óna bhéal
an chros chéasta ina lámh
an chrógacht ina shúil.
Deirtear gur mhaith sé
lucht a riaghtha
gur fháiltigh go lúcháireach
roimh pharrthás
cinnteacht an tslánaithe
dó féin is dá thír.

Samhlaím gur chrith a chroí ann
gur réabadh a intinn,
go riabh an t-allas fuar
a shil ó bhallaí Chill Mhaighnean
ag lonrú ar chlár a éadain,
déarfainn gur lúb a ghlúin
gur scaoileadh a mhún
sa bhodhránacht chruaidh sin
gur chorraigh a cholainn
le haithreachas
go dtabharfadh sé a anáil bheo
ar shlí amach.

Breast iad a dhéanann mórtas as gaisce éaga
tá sé furasta bás a fháil, shílfeá.
Mo cheol thú, a reibiliúnaí,
tusa a chrom roimh an eagla
a chúlaigh tamall in aghaidh na himní
ach fós a d’aimsigh misneach
le cloigeann agus cos a ardú.

Coinneofar do chuimhne
ní i searmanais nósúla stáit
ach i scríob umhal mo phinn.