The welcome that West Kerry offers strangers was the keynote at the launch of a new collection of poetry by Simon Ó Faolain, which has estrangement as a central theme.
he collection of Irish language poetry entitled ‘Iasachtaigh’ was launched by Brenda Ní Shúílleabhain, with music provided by piper and low whistle player, Eoin Duignan.
In her launch speech Brenda spoke about the increasing number of people who were born in other places joining the West Kerry community, and the benefits that many of them have brought.
Simon himself is one such example. Although born in Dublin, he grew up in West Kerry and after training as an archaeologist he turned his intellect to the richness of the Irish language and poetry. Since then his work has received many awards.
In this his fourth and latest collection of poetry, Simon tackles the subject of estrangement. The collection includes a poem about Blasket Island shearwater birds who, as they navigate by the stars on their migratory journeys, are sometimes led astray by the lights in Dingle town and end up on the streets.
He also raises questions about a society where the lonely person seeks companionship through technology, and the book finishes with a selection of sonnets on the life of Colm Cille who spent his last years banished to the island of Iona.
The book is published by Coiscéim and is available in good book shops priced at €8.50.