A NEW CD of ‘hope and healing’ poetry compiled by former Mount Lourdes teacher Sister Rosemary Keenan RSM has been released to raise money for the Aisling Centre. ‘Poems of Hope and Healing’ offers a map for the journey beyond the ‘open door’.
The former Mount Lourdes English teacher and principal told the Herald how she is now following a new dream.
“Having retired many years previously from teaching English to teenagers, I found myself in 2013 offering poetry sessions to adults in the Aisling Centre, Enniskillen.
The sudden death of Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney, gave people a new desire to read his poetry, words of encouragement helped me take the plunge, and I felt impelled to work with the group of enthusiastic adults who came to the first sessions.”
These gatherings proved ‘life-giving’ and ‘inspiring’ explained Sister Keenan.
“Poetry moved out of the classroom and an exam syllabus to shared reflections on life, its journeys, memories and experiences. These adults were fertile soil for the seed. Their words tumbled into the room with wonderment, questioning and wisdom. There was a growing sense of self-worth, as all insights were treated with respect.”
Such the impact the poetry has had on the group, when the opportunity came to put some poems with accompanying commentaries on a CD, the decision was an easy one.
“I felt this might help a wider audience touch into the transformative power of poetry. Thus was born a CD, ‘Poems of Hope and Healing’, with various poems linked to the overarching theme of the search for happiness, peace, hope and healing. These poems can be used individually for personal reflection, or as a catalyst for group sharing. They can lead us to new insights as we touch into significant events, places, people, evocative memories.”
The CD features poetry from Seamus Heaney, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats, Mary Oliver, Paula Meehan and indeed Sister Rosemarie Keenan herself, who penned the ‘Aisling Poem’.
All proceeds from the sale of CD will go to the work done at the Aisling Centre – a counselling centre in Enniskillen. The CD costs £5 and can be purchased at the Aisling Centre, St Michael’s Parish Bookshop and the Graan Bookshop.