Writing Brigit


Writing Brigit

Many years ago I wrote my first Brigit prayer. Poem. Blessing... I have been writing them ever since, but seldom publish them. Some are carefully researched and crafted, some are simple and straight from the heart.

The prayers and blessings of my sisters in the Daughters of the Flame and other Brigit-loving women and men, living and long-dead, fill me with surprise and delight, as well.

I would like to share some of these writings with you.

Following is the one that signs off each of my emails, a reminder to guide my words and intentions with care when I write to anyone. It's as good a place to start as any.


Flame Offering

In the name of the three Brigits

I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone

gentle and steady

warm and bright



10 December 2015

"The Forge" by Seamus Heaney


Not exactly a Brigit poem, but as goddess of smithcraft, she certainly has a hand in here.

Seamus Heaney. My hero.



The Forge
by Seamus Heaney

All I know is a door into the dark.
Outside, old axles and iron hoops rusting;
Inside, the hammered anvil’s short-pitched ring,
The unpredictable fantail of sparks
Or hiss when a new shoe toughens in water.
The anvil must be somewhere in the centre,
Horned as a unicorn, at one end and square,
Set there immoveable: an altar
Where he expends himself in shape and music.
Sometimes, leather-aproned, hairs in his nose,
He leans out on the jamb, recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;
Then grunts and goes in, with a slam and flick
To beat real iron out, to work the bellows.


1969

BBC Radio Ulster's "Your Place and Mine" features a clip on the man who inspired "The Forge". Find it here:


The Forge
On this week’s programme, we pay tribute to the late Barney Devlin - the blacksmith who inspired the famous poem by Seamus Heaney.





Photo: Blacksmith Stephen Quinn, from Craft in Ireland.
For more on the blacksmith in Ireland and Stephen Quinn, read The Tuam Herald "Iron, art and inspiration & keeping the blacksmith's craft alive", by Tony Galvin.

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