RTÉ

'Illuminations', an RTÉ Arts Project

Moya Cannon

Light is what days are made of -

Light is what days are made of -

by Moya Cannon

Light is what days are made of -
it pulls the daffodil up out of dark earth,
prompts the eagle and the stub-tailed wren to nest
and draws the humpback whale north with its song.

Stones, warm on the morning sea-shore, know it.
Our sun is so much older than them—
such tempests of grief it has scanned
yet light, like love, eternally draws us on.

Light is what days are made of -

Moya Cannon

In the early weeks of the Covid 19 crisis, I was invited to contribute a very short poem to the ‘Shine Your Light’ programme, to be broadcast on RTÉ on Easter Weekend. The following morning, taking a walk along the shingly beach at Shankill, with a low sun silvering the sea, I got the first line. On the way home, daffodils were in bloom in the park. I thought of the power of sunlight, how the tiniest plant and the greatest beast in the world are tied and fine-tuned to it, and how, even though the times were fearful, the sunshine of those weeks was keeping our spirits up too.

Artist At Work

Moya Cannon

Moya Cannon

Moya Cannon is an Irish poet with six published collections, the most recent being Donegal Tarantella (Carcanet Press, Manchester, 2019). The mountains, the sea and our primal and enduring responses to the beauty of our increasingly endangered earth are the inspiration for many of her poems. She has received the Brendan Behan Award and the O’Shaughnessy Award and, in 2011, was Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University P.A. She has edited Poetry Ireland Review and is a member of Aosdána, the Irish state-sponsored affiliation of creative artists. Her Collected Poems is due from Carcanet Press in 2021.