The Poetry Cafe at The Haggart

Wonders Never Cease!

I blogged recently about The Haggart in the depths of rural Longford when I went to see a monologue on the life of Oscar Wilde and got lost on the way. Actually, when you know the way, it’s very straightforward (Left at The Cross and Straight On Til You Get There, a bit like Never Never Land) and last night we sailed through a black, cold, starry sky straight to the door of the Poetry Cafe at The Haggart.

My last blog about the Haggart had inadvertently raised some hackles so when I met Michael Masterson (he who runs the venue) at the Mushroom Festival at Kilbracken House (itself worth a separate blog), we got talking…and talking…and talking. Anyway, the culmination of the chat was the Poetry Cafe at The Haggart last night.

The Poetry Cafe at The Haggart was the first of what I hope might be many. I don’t know how quite to describe it. It looked lovely (thanks to Julie) furnished like a cafe, soft light, red and white tablecloths, flowers, candles, plates of cakes and biscuits and home made bread, tea or whatever beverage people brought with them. And what a fascinating collection of diverse poets from Longford, Leitrim and Cavan (The Haggart is where the three provinces meet)!

There were three key readers, and over nine local poets who recited to an audience of fifty plus, all of different hues and ages. We had ballads, sonnets, eulogies, personal reflections, some very lyrical, sharp, political, others more pedestrian. But isn’t that the glory of such an evening set in the heart of rural Ireland? A motley collection of characters reading their poetry to an eclectic assembly of folk! I hope this description doesn’t get me in trouble but I really liked the bizarre flavour of the whole event, which was perfectly MCd by Jim Williamson, a local historian and a real gentleman.

Photo is Angela McCabe from Ballinmore

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