Before Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself there was the the ancient Irish Song of Amergin. Though I am sure that I have heard this poem before, it impacted me for the first time this past weekend when I listened to a reading of it in the context of a radio interview of John O’Donohue with Krista Tippitt in “The Inner landscape of Beauty.” The reading comes 10 minutes into the interview and I highly recommend taking a listen to it. The whole interview is fantastic, especially if you are at all drawn to the “Celtic” ways of seeing the world.
When I heard the poem as read in the interview, I immediately wanted to create something in response to the beautiful words, perhaps compose a piece of music for it, or a piece of calligraphy. However, this will require much more thought, time and space to do it justice. In the meantime I thought that I would share the poem on my blog. However, because poetry is a spoken art it is hard sometimes to do justice to a poem simply by writing it. So I did a brown bag calligraphy project as a way to begin to spatially represent the poem. Really each phrase requires its own full page, so perhaps the best visual representation of this poem would be a book. I will have to keep thinking.
At any rate, here is my first exploration of a visual response to the poem.