The Poetry Of Aran


20111204For centuries The Aran Islands, three limestone rocks of the west coast of Ireland, have been an inspiration to writers, artists and intellectuals, in search of an authentic Irish experience.

As the future of the Irish language in Ireland is far from secure, award-winning poet Daljit Nagra visits the islands where Irish is still the first language, and explores their rich poetic heritage.

He speaks to the poet Seamus Heaney about why he wrote three poems about the Aran Islands in his first collection and Heaney reads some poetry in Irish for the first time around 40 years; Daljit also visits the cottage where Anglo-Irish playwright John Millington Synge wrote his influential journal of island life - a mouthpiece for the Gaelic-seeking spirit of the Irish literary revival.

We also hear from a local poet who continues the tradition of oral poetry on the islands; and explore the life of one of the key modern, Irish language poets, Martin O Direain, who took his inspiration from his birthplace on Aran.

Producer: Jo Wheeler

A Just Radio production for BBC Radio 4.

Daljit Nagra visits the Aran Islands to explore their rich imaginative and poetic life.