These poems look at the poet’s community. Joe Steve Ó Neachtain returns to his Cois Fharraige background and gives an insight into various aspects of life in the community where he has spent most of his life.
As Joe Steve says himself, ‘I was born towards the end of the war in 1942 in the small townland of An Chré Dhubh, about a quarter of a mile west of An Spidéal in Connemara. Through good luck, or maybe bad luck, I wasn’t swallowed up in the wave of emigration from the area. I’ve spent my life amongst the grassroots. A courageous community, which lived for many years from hand to mouth but carried the rich culture and heritage of Cois Fharraige safely from generation to generation.
I have tried in the format of a series of poems to give a small insight into the lifestyle of my family. My aim was to write a poem for each year of my life, that’s 73 years as I write this, but if I were to write down everything that has moved me to tears or to laughter in those years since I was first wrapped in the swaddling cloth I’d have to live as long as Methuselah.