Listen to two interviews with Bishop Denis Nulty which aired over the weekend.


Competition for Ireland’s favourite poem about rural life

Visitors to the Ploughing Championship will have a new challenge this year – to select their favourite farming poem.

Love of agriculture and the land has been a favourite theme for poets down the ages. In recent times Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney, for example, have written passionately about farming.

Now “A Poem for the Ploughing” is being launched by the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin to find out what verses are the most evocative of life on the land.

People all over the country are being invited to submit their top choice of poem which captures the wonders of country life and the craft of farming.

The competition to find peoples’favourite poem about agriculture from the work of established national or international poets follows the recent highly successful ‘Poem for Ireland’ search organised by RTE.

The idea to find the most popular rustic poem came from Bishop Denis Nulty in whose diocese the National Ploughing Championships will be held. They will take place from September 22nd to 24th in Ratheniska, County Laois.

Bishop Nulty, who comes from a farming family in Meath, enjoys reading poetry.

“Poetry is a beautiful way of expressing emotions and ideas. Rhythm and imagery can capture the magic and hardship of farming really well. I believe we are going to see many wonderful entries to depict the lives of people who live close to the soil”

the bishop said.

How to Enter

Between now and Wednesday, September 9th, people are asked to submit their suggestions to Poem for the Ploughing, Faith Development Services, College Street, Carlow or poemfortheploughing@kandle.ie.

The top five/six poems nominated by Sept 9th will be put on display in the Kildare & Leighlin tent at the Ploughing Championships and visitors will have the chance to vote for their favourite.

The peoples’choice of  ‘Poem for the Ploughing’will be announced at 2.30pm on the final day of the championships.

The Prize

Everyone who submits a poem will be entered into a draw for €250 worth of product from BLF Nutrition Ltd.

A draw for €250 worth of product from BLF Nutrition Ltd. will be held for those who nominate the winning poem.

A Little Boy in the Morning by Francis Ledwidge

read by Bishop Denis on Countrywide

He will not come, and still I wait.
He whistles at another gate
Where angels listen. Ah I know
He will not come, yet if I go
How shall I know he did not pass
barefooted in the flowery grass?

The moon leans on one silver horn
Above the silhouettes of morn,
And from their nest-sills finches whistle
Or stooping pluck the downy thistle.
How is the morn so gay and fair
Without his whistling in its air?
The world is calling, I must go.
How shall I know he did not pass
Barefooted in the shining grass?