Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Pay Back

Irish poet Elaine Feeney is interviewed about her poem "Mass":
Maeve Mulrennan: I prepared for this interview by listening to your work rather than reading it, and I was wondering about your poem, "Mass," which you performed to the camera. Did you find that an intense thing to do?

Elaine Feeney: Colm Keegan told me that he was talking to Séamus Rutledge about that poem, joking that it should have been nominated as the poem for Ireland. There was no decent recording of it, so Colm recommended that I record the poem and put it on YouTube. It was a scary experience, I did it in my house, I put it out there and within minutes it got two thumbs down in the comments section—probably from the local bishops!

MM: I’d find that so frustrating! I’d love to know who those two people were.

EF: "Mass" is not supposed to sit well, people are supposed to find it uncomfortable. Some people think that "list poems" don’t work and I agree to a certain extent, but this works as a list-piece. We had to listen to enough mass growing up, so this is the pay back. Some people are shocked when it turns nasty at the end, mentioning homophobia and how there won’t ever be a women’s mass. It is easier to delude ourselves and keep going to mass. When I see crowds going to mass it unnerves me.

1 comment:

George Murray said...

She's really very good. She blew to tops of our heads off in St. John's, her and Laird. Her lines are brawny to read and she's intense to hear in person. And fun to have a drink with, too. You don't often get all those in the one package.