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28th Mar 2020

“Everything is going to be alright” – last night’s RTE News ended with a message of hope

James Fenton

Derek Mahon is a name many people will remember from their Leaving Cert days and his work appeared last night in a poignant ending to the RTE News.

A work by Belfast-born poet Derek Mahon was chosen to wrap up the RTE News last night on an evening when the nation was told about stricter measures being put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19.

With feelings of anxiety, uncertainly and loneliness now commonplace around the country, RTE felt that a different tone was needed to wrap up yet another less than enjoyable news bulletin.

The programme finished with Mahon reading his poem Everything Is Going To Be Alright, a piece which conveys a message of hope amid dark times. While the work doesn’t skirt around the issue of people losing loved ones, it goes on to say ‘the sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.’ It’s a message many people can cling to around the world, as each day brings us closer to the return of relative normality.

You can watch the clip of the poem being read on RTE News last night, with the piece in full added underneath…

Everything Is Going To Be Alright – by Derek Mahon

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

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