Walking around Galway you might notice a series of plaques at various strategic locations, each of which has a poem inscribed on it, usually with a theme relating to the city. Together they comprise the Galway Poetry Trail which has been created in conjunction with the the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, an annual literature festival that’s been held in Galway since 1985.
During my latest visit I tried to find some time to visit some of the plaques. A number of the poems are by well known authors, including Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and W B Yeats, but others are by poets I didn’t know, so following the trail introduced me to their work. Here’s a few of them.
This one, featuring the poem Bright City by Moya Cannon is on the bridge overlooking the harbour and the Cladagh, to which it refers.
It’s a little tricky to read from the photo, so here it is
I follow the light down the canal path,
across the road and on to the Claddagh.
In a blast of morning light which has turned
canal, river and estuary to mercury,
even the cars on the Long Walk are transfigured.
Five swans beat their way in across the bay,
heavy, sounding their own clarion,
as though carrying the world’s beauty
in on their strong white backs this Saturday morning.”
Here’s one by Gerry Hanbury on the wall of a pub on the corner of Quay Street
The Tribune by Gerald Dawe can be found on the wall of the building belonging to the very newspaper it refers to