The Natural History of Ulster

The National Museums Northern Ireland are nearing the completion of a prestigious volume called The Natural History of Ulster which includes a chapter on Ulster poets and their reflections on nature. It includes four fragments from Martin Donnellys songs and has this to say about his work.

‘One writer whose work may compare to that of Patrick Kavanagh ‘s mystic poetry is Martin Donnelly, originally from Co. Antrim. Donnelly’s work stand out from other nature poets in that it is set to music and from other songwriters in that much of it is about the natural world.  He writes nature songs which are poetic and discerning,and his Kavanagh-like vision of the world can be felt in the following lines from Longing To Belong Again’.

Worn out by bitter travelling

‘Till my poor heart was sore

I flung myself exhausted

On Dunseveick’s healing shore

On a soft bank by a roadside

I found myself at prayer

Between a violet and a primrose

That grew so careless there

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