« DUBLIN — Since the days of the bards, when poets served as aides-de-camp to medieval chieftains here, Ireland has built a reputation as a birthing ground for legend and verse.
“Bards were the Mad Men of their day – they were the Madison Avenue spin doctors and makers of political fables for their leaders,” said Declan Kiberd professor of Irish studies at the University of Notre Dame Indiana.
Like the church and the farm, though, poetry holds a lesser place in Irish society today, despite the legacy of Yeats and a love for Seamus Heaney, the Nobel laureate whose 2013 funeral was broadcast live on Irish television. S, to rekindle interest, RTE, the national broadcaster here, has been running an unashamedly populist contest, A Poem for Ireland, to find Ireland’s best-loved poem written over the past 100 years.
After weeks of voting online and by mail, the winner was announced on Wednesday Irish literary and theatrical giants – from left, Oscar Wilde, John Millington Synge and Sean O’Casey – grace posters in the Temple Bar area of Dublin.»