HomeTagsPosts tagged with "poem"


It feels as if women in Ireland are in a constant game of tug of war.

We made progress by repealing the eighth but have been hurdled backwards from rulings like the Belfast rape trial.

But one thing we do have is a voice, and it is being heard now more than ever.

17-year-old Natalya O’Flaherty is speaking up for gender equality through spoken word. Her poetry highlights important issues that continue to plague young girls growing up in modern society.

Her recent piece Not Like Other Girls does just that – levels the childhood playing field and shows that girls cannot be defined ‘from a mindset moulded by man’.

She begins the poem, commissioned by RTÉ, by describing her own ‘tomboy’ experience (the very word itself demonstrates how badly the definition of girlhood needs to evolve).

I never liked pink or glitter or bows. Instead I chose blue and dirt and diggin’.

Never liked lipsticks or perfume, never hung horse-themed posters in my bedroom,

assumed I was not like the other girls, and the other girls were not like me.

I shied away from my femininity, maximised my masculinity

so that the boys wouldn’t pick me last in team chasing.

I’d sooner fall in the muck than be stuck sittin’ with the girls,

all swappin’ stories of the glories of kissing boys. It was all just noise to me.

Natalya was pushed out of both gender groups for having 'masculine' and 'feminine' characteristics.

I didn’t see why I was different but I knew I was.

I didn’t abide by the agreed upon girl code laws.

I didn’t want to be girly or soft or weak.

I didnt want to be considered delicate or meek ‘cause that’s what girls are

– or so I was told.

She was torn in two by a society that was forcing her to choose, compromising her identity to fit traditional gender roles.

Society had pitted me against myself.

I denied my own identity to embody what was said to be for the boys,

but now I know I’m not like other girls.

I can be soft and strong in the same breath.

I can like shoes and makeup and still have depth.

I can be brave while wiping tears on my sleeve.

I can be everything or nothing I’m expected to be.

She ended the poem with this epiphany, coming into her own and accepting who she is:

I can be like the other girls and they can be like me.

Natalya’s daring statements capture what it’s like growing up in Ireland and how much that truly needs to change.



My Ireland, a spoken word piece by Tallagh poet Stephen James Smith, took Ireland by storm yesterday as people became enraptured by his words about our Emerald Isle. 

The poem looks at what it means to be Irish, both the good and the bad.

Everything from Copper Faced Jacks to the Magdalene Laundries is mentioned, as the poem draws on both the past and the present. 

Since the release, the video has racked up thousands of hits, as Irish people flock to the video to hear Stephen's worlds flowing melodically over videos of Ireland shot by filmmaker Myles O'Reilly.

The lengthy poem was commissioned as part of this year's St Patrick's Festival.

At almost 12 minutes long, it's commitment to sit down to, but well worth it. 

The poem has broken the internet, or at least the Irish corner of it, and the reactions to the piece are moving. 

Some fans are even calling for the poem to be included on the Leaving Cert syllabus, with the St Patrick's Festival Twitter account agreeing, saying that "students nationwide should hear."

Some picked up on the issues raised by the poem, such as the inclusion of Savita Halappanavar, and linked them back to current movements such as The Repeal Project.

Others simply quoted the lines they felt were most relevant to their lives. 

"I spent the best part of six months on it," the poet told the Irish Independent

"It's a labour of love, although it probably is flawed. It's my interpretation of what it means to be Irish today – a celebration of all that's good, but also pointing out all that's wrong."

"The unfairness that's become part and parcel of life today."

If you haven't made the time to watch it for yourself yet, do it now.




Turns out, there is just no end to Queen Bey’s talents!

For her new spread in the CR Fashion Book, Beyoncé contributed a poem instead of a traditional interview.

Entitled “Bey the Light,” the poem features the singer’s words “remixed” by writer Forrest Gander.

And here it is…

“Bey the Light”
Words Beyoncé

It’s my daughter, she’s my biggest muse.
There’s someone, we all find out soon,
more important than ourselves to lose.

I feel a deep bond with young children –
all those photos in my dressing room –
especially those who’ve been stricken,

Children I’ve met across the years –
they uplift me like pieces of moon,
and guide me, whispering in my ear

I’m turned to spirits, the emotions of others.
And I feel her presence all the time
though I never met my grandmother.

I learned at a very young age,
when I need to tap some extra strength,
to put my persona, Sasha, on stage.

Though we’re different as blue and red,
I’m not afraid to draw from her
in performance, rifts, even in bed.

I saw a TV preacher when I was scared,
at four or five, about bad dreams,
who promised he’d say a prayer

If I put my hand to the TV.
That’s the first time I remember prayer,
an electric current humming through me.

You call me a singer, but I’m called to transform,
to suck up the grief, anxiety, and loss
of those who hear me into my song’s form.

I’m a vessel for all that isn’t right,
for break-ups and lies and double-cross.
I sing into that vessel a healing light.

To let go of pain that people can’t bear.
I don’t do that myself, I call in the light.
I summon God to take me there.

Utopias, they don’t much interest me.
I always mess things up a bit.
It’s chaos, in part, that helps us see.

But for my daughter I dream a day
when no one roots for others to fail,
when we all mean what we say.