The Dublin: One City One Book title for 2014, If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, is something completely different yet very Dublin. A collection of poems, ballads and songs from a range of literary luminaries connected with Dublin, the book is arranged street by street so the reader is continually making new connections and discoveries on a virtual tour of the City of Words. We were thrilled to discover a poem by Betty Thompson, retelling an experience of watching a film at the IFI!
Gérard Depardieu in Eustace Street
His fleshy face aslant fills the screen
here in this vaulted room
still light enough to see the patina on oak
though the lights are down
as I sit in a plush row where benches used to seat
the friends who met here
in silence mostly
unless one felt impelled to speak about the light within.
We too sit in silence
looking up at the screen of light
receiving its forms and tints
tracking their force
tasting the full-mouthed vowels and moist consonants
of its habitués this day
inhabiting or sojourning in the drab part of town
relocate for a scene or two
to its volcanic hinterland
to daze themselves with light and air.
BETTY THOMPSON (b. 1951)
All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. First published in If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, now available in the IFI Film Shop!
IFI celebrates this year’s One City One Book choice with a richly varied programme of films about Dublin poets and poetry, screening free of charge as part of our Archive at Lunchtime programme.
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council