‘Gérard Depardieu in Eustace Street’ – read Betty Thompson’s poem about the IFI

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.



All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author. First published in If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Songnow 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

Arts Council of Ireland