Irish Poetry Exchange & #IrishPoetryChallenge! [Rewatch ▷]

Poetry Challenge

To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland (April 30, 2020) we are challenging you to post a video of yourself reading "Beannacht" by John O'Donohue to your favorite social media channel. Be sure to tag Solas Nua and include the hashtags #IrishPoetryChallenge and #PoetryDayIRL - we'll be sharing your videos, and creating a supercut reading of the poem using our favorite videos!

Send us a copy at


On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

Poem used with permission from the John O’Donohue Literary Estate.

This poem is found in To Bless the Space Between Us in the US and Benedictus in Europe.  

Poetry Exchange 2020

The Irish Poetry Exchange will be lead by two major champions of Irish poetry, Ambassador Dan Mulhall and Solas Nua Board Co-Chair Paddy Meskell. 

Thanks to everyone who participated in our #IrishPoetryChallenge! We loved seeing your readings of John O'Donohue's "Beannacht." Keep the videos coming by sharing your readings on social media using the hashtags #IrishPoetryChallenge and #PoetryDayIRL, and be sure to tag Solas Nua. You can also email your video to

Here is a compilation of some of our favorite readings:

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