Ravens – na Fiacha dubha – I always loved those magnificent blue-black birds. Up in the Wicklow mountains, miles from anywhere, you might hear one… just somewhere up there between heaven and earth, you’d hear its hoarse caw and then it would appear from over a hill, freewheeling across the sky.
This week, I want to mention a beautiful exhibition of drawings by Eve Parnell that is on at the moment in The Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont. These are drawings of Ravens, drawings to commemorate all those who died 100 years ago, in the Easter Rising and in the Battle of the Somme. She selected a number of significant lines of poetry from the time, from poems by Thomas Hardy, Patrick Pearse, WB Yeats, Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke, to name a few, and she inscribed these on ribbons that were held in the beaks of the ravens.
Ravens sometimes get a bad press, being carrion feeders and consequently being associated with war and death but… (and some people even give out about their hoarse caw!) but I like them. And some people view them as messengers from the Gods… Have you ever seen one flying upside down? – magnificent, mysterious birds.
The exhibition continues until the 24th of June.