With people all over the world confined to home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a cosmopolitan group of poets based in Northern Ireland have set up Letters With Wings, “to bond with artists and activists who are kept in prisons for their art or for their journalism or because they are fighting for human rights.”
The organisers are: Viviana Fiorentino (Italy), Maria McManus (Northern Ireland), Nandi Jola (South Africa), Csilla Toldy (Hungary).
If you would like to participate, go to these Facebook and Twitter links.
- Choose an artist/activist who is a prisoner
- Take a photo of your poem or poetic letter to that person
- Post it on the Letters With Wings pages on either Facebook or Twitter. #PoetryDayIrl #Letterswithwings
This post is for Narges Mohammadi (Iran) and also in memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia (Malta).
The peaceful night that round me flows,
Breaks through your iron prison doors,
Free through the world your spirit goes,
Forbidden hands are clasping yours.
The wind is our confederate,
The night has left her doors ajar,
We meet beyond earth’s barred gate,
Where all the world’s wild Rebels are
(Eva Gore-Booth, Broken Glory, 1918)
Eva Gore-Booth, a passionate advocate of the principles of non-violence, wrote this poem for her sister, Constance Markievicz, who was in prison for her part in Ireland’s 1916 Rising. The sisters had an arrangement that they would think about each other at the same time every day, believing that they could connect in this way.