Eamonn Lynskey's Poetry and Reading Blog

July 25, 2015

Remembering Sarah

Filed under: Obituaries — tvivf @ 2:25

We met at the wooden bridge in Raheny today to remember our Sarah Lundberg whom we lost this time last year and whom we will never forget.

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August 23, 2014

Remembering Sarah Sunflower Lundberg

Filed under: Obituaries — tvivf @ 2:25
The inimitable Sarah Lundberg

The inimitable Sarah Lundberg

I first met Sarah Lundberg in Bowes Pub in Fleet Street in Dublin where her ‘Seven Towers’ company had been in Open Mic session for some weeks. There would be many changes of venue  in subsequent years but her monthly ‘Last Wednesday’ would always be a fixture, presided over by Sarah and skillfully MC’d by Declan McLoughlin. It was here that many younger, and not a few of us older, poets and writers got a chance to float some new pieces and see how they sounded. And everyone was assured of a fair hearing. No heckling (although occasional shouts of praise were permitted!) and no going on and on and on, taking up more that the 7-10 minutes, a practice that afflicts so many of our city’s open mics. There was law and order and plenty of socialising, an aspect of the open mic that was never neglected by Sarah. She well understood that a writer’s life can often be a lonely Sarahlife (not many ‘ordinary’, i.e., ‘sane’ people are prepared to discuss creative writing problems) and the  monthly Seven Towers Wednesday Open Mics were great opportunities to talk with kindred spirits. As time went on, and through Sarah’s prodigious efforts, Seven Towers developed as a publishing imprint and as an event-organising company and many other things but it was the Last Wednesday Open Mic and its camaraderie and good humour that was always nearest her heart. She loved talk, laughter, cycling, good music, good writing … she really was our Sarah Sunflower who lit up our lives and we all miss her terribly. And always will.

 

December 28, 2012

Dennis O’Driscoll, R.I.P.

Filed under: Obituaries — tvivf @ 2:25

1224328186097_1Very sorry to hear that Dennis O’Driscoll has left us, and at the young age of 58. His work  always appealed to me,  because of its mixture of humour  and seriousness. His regular contributions  in the Poetry Ireland Review of ‘Pickings and Choosings’ , in which he listed out various ‘definitions’ of poetry, was always something I looked forward to reading. His ‘Stepping Stones’ book of interviews with Seamus Heaney is a fine examination of Heaney’s work and life and is eminently readable. Ar a dheis De go raibh a anam.

October 13, 2009

Mary Travers, 1937-2009

Filed under: Obituaries — tvivf @ 2:25

Mary Travers, of ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’ fame died last month, September 16th. This group shaped a lot of my poetic and musical and political outlooks. I remember how impressed I was with their ‘Album 1700’ LP which I bought hot off the press in 1967 when I was in my Leaving Certificate year and had very little ready cash. Of course I was really taken by John Denver’s ‘Leaving on Jet Plane’, but every track was great and the one that (for me) was absolutely revolutionary listening was ‘Whatshername’, a slow-moving, very poignant and, by turns, pathetic monologue from a middle aged man wondering about a girl he used to know and what became of her. At that time I was surprised at the form of the composition (written I think by Noel Stookey the ‘Paul’ in the group’ ) because it was absolutely nothing like the three-minute fomulaic compositions so common at the time, and which I loved very much– Hey! I was teenager! Now I realize that this was one of my first meetings with poetry. It is a marvellous composition. And now also, since I am now well past middle age, I can appreciate it from the resources of life-time experience. And isn’t this the very thing about good writing?– That it retains its power to move you, even after a lifetime? They were truly a great group and she was a great singer and a big influence on me and my attitudes to many things, including major themes like civil rights and war. I can hear her now in my head and I will go on hearing her as long as I live.

Ar a dheis De go raibh a hanam.

October 12, 2009

Ellie Greenwich 1940-2009

Filed under: Obituaries — tvivf @ 2:25
Ellie Greenwich

Ellie Greenwich

I am indebted to Brian Boyd of the Irish Times (in his Friday ‘Revolver’ column) for the unwelcome notice that Ellie Greenwich died recently on August 26th). I am of the age-group that carries around in my head many of her wonderful compositions and who finds himself humming them or whistling them at odd moments practically every day. Songs like ‘Be my Baby’, ‘River Deep, Mountain High’,’ The Leader of the Pack’ (who could ever forget those motorcycle revs!), ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ and the Dixie Cups’ ‘The Chapel of Love’. She was an extraordinary artist by any standards and her songs, especially those coupled with Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound’, made an indelible impression on a generation. If you believe as I do that ‘culture’ is everything we do, hear, say, taste, feel every day, then Ellie must be one of the greatest contributors to ‘mass culture’ ever. Go to any moderately good caberet or floor show and you’ll hear some of her songs amongst the fare. I heard somewhere that she got her first big break when she turned up for an audition ahead of Carol King (another great, great, great 60’s songwriter). It was lucky break for everyone!
What a great lady. What a great loss. She was, in Brian Boyd’s words ‘the queen of the three-minute 45 rpm pop record’. What a lot of happiness she leaves behind. Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam. [May her soul be at the right hand of God].
 

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