RTÉ Player has launched a new on-demand Culture collection, featuring an eclectic mix of documentaries and performances from the worlds of Music, Arts, Film & TV and Literature.

Each week, the RTÉ Player team suggest a ‘must-watch’ from the Culture collection.  This week the focus is on A Rebel Act: Poems That Shaped Ireland.

This landmark documentary examines the poems that shaped us as a people and illustrate why poetry is so central to our culture. Using Michael Hartnett’s quotation as a springboard, A Rebel Act offers a whistle-stop tour through the last 1,000 years of Ireland’s history as captured by the words of its poets.

From the bards to the newest young Irish voices, we hear how Ireland’s poets have, from the earliest times, captured the people’s response to love, death, plantation, famine, rebellion, civil war, emigration, the Celtic Tiger and the crash.  Each poem is an individual act of rebellion.

This is not Rebel with a capital ‘R’ - but with a small, true, challenge-the-status-quo ‘r’.

Featuring contributions from poets, writers and historians, with performances by Irish people from all walks of life - from teachers and market-sellers to well-known actors and even former Presidents – this landmark documentary shows that poetry has teeth and can change the way we think, act and feel; it can entertain, sadden, gladden, provoke and disturb; that poetry is as important today as it always has been – if not more so.

If there was an Olympics in poetry, Ireland would be taking home the medals. A Rebel Act illustrates why such a small nation sits at the top table in the poetry world. Watch it now on RTÉ Player.