To Keep The Light Burning
Reflections in times of loss

by Anne Le Marquand Hartigan
With a foreword by Victoria Glendinning

Published by Salmon Poetry 12.00 euro




Buy this book online at Salmon



President Mary McAleese with  Anne  Hartigan's  new  book  To  Keep the Light burning

President Mary McAleese with Anne Hartigan and her poetry book: To Keep the Light Burning

"Religions have over the centuries developed rituals that provide a path for people to travel towards an acceptance of death, a form through which we can channel grief. Today some of us do not feel part of any religion. So our rituals around death may be out of step with life as we live it now. We are inventing our own rituals and searching for new words to help us express our grief and find some consolation," says writer Anne Le Marquand Hartigan.

Her new book To Keep The Light Burning, is a collection of personal prose and poems, many of which author Anne Hartigan feels could be read aloud at funerals, burials or cremations, as well as privately by the individual reader to help cope with grief.

"These are writings for now, when many need a different way to express their loss (and may or may not choose a religious ceremony,) linked with the traditional ways we in Ireland cope with grief, and honour our dead," says Hartigan. "There is a universal need for ritual and ceremony."

After an important friend of Anne Hartigan's died in August 2001, followed just days later by the atrocities of 9/11, she was so keenly aware of the depth of loss suffered that she decided to put together a collection of poems and prose, with the aim of helping other people going through the trauma of bereavement and loss. "These two griefs became the force and energy that fuelled the making of this book".

"Several of these poems have already found their way into the hearts of the bereaved and have been found completely 'right'," says award-winning writer Victoria Glendinning in her foreword to the book.

Mark Patrick Hederman OSB, Abbot at Glenstal Abbey, writes that this book "talks about death without flinching. It is not sentimental or sanctimonious. It gathers us around the emptiness and offers, calm, truthful, reassuring words, 'human and comforting'."

Fintan O'Toole kindly launched this book in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. And Soprano Elizabeth Hilliard sang a piece from the work, composed for the occasion by composer Gráinne Mulvey.

You can buy To Keep the Light Burning at Salmon Poetry






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