As chosen by the RTÉ Poetry Programme, our Poem of the Week is Begin by Brendan Kennelly, as read on Sunday with Miriam.

Listen to Brendan Kennelly read Begin below:

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Brendan Kennelly is one of Ireland’s most beloved poets. Born in Ballylongford, Co Kerry in 1936, Brendan Kennelly became well known beyond poetry-reading circles through his eloquent and popular contributions to radio and TV. He taught for many years in the English Department at Trinity College Dublin, retiring in 2005, and wrote novels and plays as well as more than thirty collections of poetry.

Back in April 2016, in a programme marking Brendan Kennelly’s 80th birthday that month, Julien Clancy visited Ballylongford on behalf of the Poetry Programme and spoke with Brendan’s brother Alan, his nieces Elma and Mary, and friend Gabriel Fitzmaurice. Throughout the programme we hear archive clips of Brendan speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 and poetry readings from the CD accompanying the book The Essential Brendan Kennelly, published by Bloodaxe. Listen to it here

Later in the year, in October, Brendan Kennelly was interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan: 

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The final RTÉ Poetry Programme in the current series ends with Brendan’s reading of his poem ‘Begin’. Also in the programme: an Inspireland workshop with students at Thomond Community College, Moylish, Limerick; readings of poems written by children, for children from the Eurochild anthologies; James McCabe talks about James Clarence Mangan. Listen to it here.

Photo: Brendan Kennelly (© RTE Stills)