Irish poet Stephen James Smith has written and performed an enchanting poem about his hometown of Dublin.
The five minute verse is fast moving and free flowing and you have to listen close to keep up with the numerous issues raised by Smith.
He is happy to celebrate all that is great about Ireland’s capital and mentions several famous figures from the city. However, Smith also highlights some of the darker elements of Dublin’s past.
One particular verse brilliantly sums up all that is good, and bad, about the city.
“Brenda Fricker, the city’s mother and Maureen O’Hara an enchanting other. Dublin you are boom and bust, running wild and swift, Dublin can I trust you? Dublin your true blue is Harry Cark’s cobalt, Dublin from a Thin Lizzy Dicey Reilly to a floozy in a jacuzzi God fearing, Dublin shooting down Veronica Guerin.”
The wordplay throughout the poem is brilliant and a credit to Smith’s skills as a writer. He performs the poem beautifully and you have to be fully focused to keep up with the countless subjects visited.
Some of the other poignant lines from the poem include: “Dublin, Big Jim’s arms are outstretched to arisen people, yet are we under the thumb again?”
Smith also celebrates the city’s wide diversity and reminds its residents that the Irish themselves have a long history of migration and settling in new places.
“Dublin you’re full of the Polish and the Brazilians speaking Portuguese and now the Chinese have turned Parnell Street into Chinatown, Dublin don’t let them down, Dublin don’t forget no blacks no dogs no Irish Dublin perish the thought of you being racist.”
The poem is part of a wider campaign by Dublin to be named the European Capital of Culture in 2020. It certainly does a great job in providing a snapshot into the city and looking beneath the surface.
Take a look at Smith performing Dublin You Are below.