fetch, and other words

On a grey, wet winter day I gathered my stick about me and walked into town. I was tired and sore and grumpy, and in need of poetry. Balm for my bruises.

You may be thinking that I have any number of poetry books in the house, and easy access to a whole wide world of words, but happenstance meant I’d already got a ticket for a poetry reading. L had done the hard work, I just turned up.

The reading was by Ciaran Carson, and he surprised me greatly. Melodic Irish airs played on a marching band flute. Who knew marching band flutes didn’t come pre programmed with The Sash? (Now, that’s a link I’d never imagined posting…)

Carson was reared through Irish, learning English outside the home. He talked about the differences between words and meanings and languages. Somehow, I’m now interested in the word ‘fetch‘ which he described as having haunted him for years. So many meanings, such interpretation, variety and storytelling.

In discussion about ‘other’ worlds, he was asked if he believed in such things, or if it was just a good story. “Just a good story? Just?”

The story telling, the use of language, the words: that is what interests him. And his use of them caught my imagination, brought my self away from my piddly little bruises, and sparked my mind.



Carson’s poem Belfast Confetti can be heard, and seen, over at The Poetry Archive. It’s worth the trip


8 thoughts on “fetch, and other words

  1. Just reading this post made me breathe deeper, Fiona. As I listen to Ciaran read his words, I might exhale whole months of worry.

    A couple of years ago, we hosted an Irishman for a house gig. Some of the songs he sang were in Irish, but they were all lovely. He still invites me to his Ireland gigs on Facebook. I told him a couple of months ago that one day I was going to surprise the heck out of him and say yes. 🙂 I wish we had the house gig tradition here, because it was a delightful way to spend an evening at home with friends.

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