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Niamh Clune

In this week’s, In The Sandbox, Ampat Koshy discusses a subject very close to my own heart ~ whether or not poetry is particularly national or not. I would like to add a slightly different note to the one made so well by Dr. Koshy, but one which adds another dimension to the discussion. Poet Laureate, Seamus Heaney, is a family friend, and I was lucky enough to attend a conference chaired by him on whether English is the language of colonialism.

We heard from poets and dissident writers from all over the world, some of whom had been imprisoned for speaking out against colonialistic or treacherous regimes. At the end of this wonderful event, Seamus Heaney summed up by saying he didn’t think English was a language of colonialism ~ oppression was not why, for example, the Irish learned to speak it so well and so uniquely. Soup kitchens…

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