‘His Lectures Were Electrifying’


Brendan Kennelly in 2004

This afternoon.

Further to the death of poet Brendan Kennelly…

“For many Irish people, Brendan was Trinity, and through his public engagement, his argument-inspiring poetry and just the sheer force of his personality, he placed the College in the centre of national debates about memory, history and the importance of the arts and literature in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

“His lectures were electrifying; even in the 1990s, when I came to Trinity, it was an extraordinary experience as a first year to have to try to squeeze yourself into even a large lecture hall, to find it packed full of not just students of English Literature, but academics from other disciplines, members of the public, and even tourists, who had all made it their business to witness a lecture from someone who possessed not just a personal charisma, but could communicate an infectious love for literature that was enviable.”

Professor Jarlath Killeen, TCD Head of the School of English

A great teacher and a warm presence on campus – Trinity pays tribute to Brendan Kennelly (TCD)


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7 thoughts on “‘His Lectures Were Electrifying’

  1. spud

    An amazing poet and great person.

    A bit random, but there’s a fantastic piece of TV from the Late Late years ago when Gaybo called a woman who’d just won a car from the postal quiz.
    Her daughter died the night before… hit by a car.
    It was unreal viewing, and Brendan was a guest on the panel… and he finished the show with the poem ‘Begin’.
    I’ll never forget it.
    It used to be online but can’t seem to find it now.

    1. Sara

      I remember that, and there was an idiotic nun on who told the woman that maybe god had given her the car because her child had just died.

  2. Redundant Proofreaders Society

    A fine academic and genuinely good guy, RIP.
    Yes, he became a ‘TV Poet’ somewhat, but he brought profundity which was apt and in no way pretentious, like that Late Late Show example above.

    1. Verbatim

      + 1 ;-(
      Someone I know who has “special needs,” wrote poetry, she sent them to him, he took the time to review them with such encouraging praise.

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