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To Keep the Light Burning: Reflections in times of loss / Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

To Keep the Light Burning: Reflections in times of loss

By: Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

€12.00 €9.00
To Keep the Light Burning: Reflections in times of loss is a particular book of poetry and prose put together with the aim to be of help to those experiencing loss and grief from death. A collection of poems that could be read at funerals; traditional burials or cremations. Poems for now, when many need a different way to express their loss, and may or may not choose a religious ceremony. Linking this with the traditional wa...
ISBN 978-1-903392-96-6
Pub Date Saturday, November 01, 2008
Cover Image Anne Hartigan
Page Count 96
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To Keep the Light Burning: Reflections in times of loss is a particular book of poetry and prose put together with the aim to be of help to those experiencing loss and grief from death. A collection of poems that could be read at funerals; traditional burials or cremations. Poems for now, when many need a different way to express their loss, and may or may not choose a religious ceremony. Linking this with the traditional ways we in Ireland cope with and honour the dead.

Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

Anne Le Marquand Hartigan was a prize-winning poet, playwright and painter. She trained as a painter at Reading University, England. She returned to Co. Louth, Ireland, in 1962 with her husband Tim Hartigan where they farmed and reared their six children. She lived in Dublin until her death in 2023. She published seven collections of poetry: Unsweet Dreams (Salmon, 2011); To Keep The Light Burning: Reflections in times of loss (Salmon, 2008); Nourishment (Salmon, 2005); Immortal Sins (Salmon, 1993); the award winning long poem with Anne’s drawings, Now is a Moveable Feast (Salmon, 1991); Return Single (Beaver Row Press, 1986); Long Tongue (Beaver Row Press, 1982). Her prose work includes Clearing The Space: A Why of Writing (Salmon, 1996). Her play Beds was performed at the Damer Hall in 1982 as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Hartigan won the Mobil Prize for Playwriting for her play The Secret Game in 1995. In Other Worlds (2003) was commissioned and performed by Ohio University, USA, then performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Jersey Lilies was performed at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin 1996, where Anne acted with Robert Gordon in this two hander. La Corbiere was performed at the Project Theatre during the Dublin Theatre Festival 1989, and has since been performed in Beirut 2004 and by Solas Nua Theatre Company in Washington DC July 2006 where it was the pick of the Fringe festival.

La Pennelle

After rain, things clear.

Although the soft hills
Lie dumb in the rising mist,
And over the hanging barley
Swifts curve and twist
Letters into the moist air.

Birds sing back the sun,
Now no blasting,
Only poppies scream, but muted,
Wet washing.

We need gentling,
The winds are not around.
Insects are out;
Grass head and butterflies
Patterning; something

Is being born.

Galway Advertiser, February 12, 2009.
By Kevin Higgins

To Keep The Light Burning (Salmon Poetry) by Anne Le Marquand Hartigan is a mixture of poems and prose pieces designed to help those experiencing loss and grief. There is an introduction by Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey.

Some of the poems are taken from Anne's previous collections, published by Salmon Poetry and Beaver Row Press. The poems are arranged with a piece of prose introducing each one.

'What is poetry for?' is the question pedantic little men like to ask. Well, one of the things poetry is for is those occasions - be they joyful or sorrowful - when the ordinary words of everyday speech fail to adequately express what needs to be said.

'Heart's Blood' - on the death of a child - is a poem which, for me, brought to mind my cousin Robert who was barely a toddler when he died: "May you live in/warmlight/in kind gardens/with soft air/with light, loves, birds,/doves - animals to/play with you".

The final poem is 'Weighing Things Up - Four Sons to Carry My Coffin': "I will be the last weight on your shoulders/the groove of wood cutting down on your bone."

Poetry cannot repair our grief, no more than it can change the world, but it can help us put things in perspective at crucial times. One of the few things of which we can be certain is that each of us in turn will be visited some day by grief.



Review by Nessa O'Mahony, The Irish Times, Saturday, March 7, 2009

A poetry collection whose avowed aim is to provide poems that could be read at a funeral might appear depressing, but To Keep the Light Burning, by Anne Le Marquand Hartigan, is anything but grim. Many of the poems collected here are drawn from Hartigan's five previous collections or else have appeared in anthologies.

Each is accompanied by a prose essay that explains the poem's background or meditates on its theme.

There are beautiful poems here that would certainly provide solace to the bereaved. In "Apples" we are shown the natural cycle of death and rebirth: Slowly trees present their bones

shed, are stark, gaunt and grim,

leaving is a dying art

necessary to begin.

But it is also a very brave book; Hartigan is facing down her own mortality while comforting others and concludes that there is nothing at all to fear.

Other Titles from Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

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