World Poetry Day 2024 | The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan

World Poetry Day 2024 | The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan

The Joys of a Second Rattle of Life by William Tiernan

– celebrating World Poetry Day with a Galway-based lyric poet –

Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.

UNESCO, marking World Poetry Day, observed annually on 21 March

Poetry will never be soccer, or movies, or music, or rock, or hip hop. But we do it because our heads burn with inspiration, not to mention torment.

William Tiernan, Irish author and lyric poet

The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan is the author’s third volume of poetry and, arguably, his most ambitious to date. Whether addressing himself to issues such as pandemics or the war in Ukraine, to more universal themes of redemption and re-birth, battles of the body and the bullying of the mind, Tiernan’s observations go straight to the human heart, breaking down the distance between what is right from what is wrong, conveying it all in his unique and inimitable lyrical style, conveyed here by just a few excerpts from his poetry, chosen at random:

Mine is a hard hammering against the wall of flame.
The demon we must come to terms with and tame.

A new day brings a new, raw hunger and thirst.

I must give the world my poem and my word,
Without having to fall on my sword.

The heart can be touched by crying,
But the soul knows not of dying.

It’s smiles we give and tears we fall.
We belong to the universal call.

I’m sick and tired of war and dying.
Sick and tired of hunger and homelessness crying.

I’m into me and I’m the whole world’s lover,
And I know there are many mysterious things to discover.

The road less travelled is the road best left behind
And the better one, perhaps, is the one we’ve yet to find.

Existence is forever so short
But life, at times, too long.

Old fashioned I might be, but most of the poetry nowadays doesn’t turn me on. I like the stuff to rhyme, while this thing of survival gets on my bloody nerves.

William Tiernan is an Irish poet who resides in rural Galway, close to the Roscommon border. His writings reflect his personal experiences and convictions, as well as strong ties to the community in which he lives, his identification with the place where he grew up. These impressions are notably present in his first two volumes of his poetry: Greetings from Guilka, Ballymoe: Poems from the Head and the Heart (2016) and Bluesy Ballymoe: Pulse and Hearts above Zero (2018).

In 2014, he was National Winner in the poetry category at the Hanna Greally Literary Awards, organised as part of the annual SiarScéal Festival in Co. Roscommon.

“It’s the fire inside my head that drives me, Mother: the highs and lows, the light and the dark, the sun, the thunder and lightning, nature’s bright beauty and cruelty beyond belief, running rivers and silvery streams, depression and nightmarish dreams, the borderline of madness.”

“You’re not mad,” she says, “just talented.”

Each one to their own.

William Tiernan, from the Bluesy Ballymoe: Pulse and Hearts above Zero

The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan, along with other books by the author, are published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, including the Ballymoe series (see below).

The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan

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The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan

The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan (front cover)

The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan is the author's third volume of poetry and, arguably, his most ambitious to date. Whether addressing himself to issues such as pandemics or the war in Ukraine, to more universal themes of redemption and rebirth, battles of the body and the bullying of the mind, Tiernan's observations go straight to the human heart, breaking down the distance between what is right from what is wrong, conveying it all in his unique and inimitable lyrical style.

From the Pen of William Tiernan

Mine is a hard hammering against the wall of flame.
The demon we must come to terms with and tame.
Where carnage can turn to courage.
Where anger can be dissolved of all its rage.
Where hope can turn over a brand-new page.
Let me try and sneak away from this same old rat race,
Before the tears stay too cold on my face.
I came alive out of my lifelessness, to come around again to care.
A new day brings a new, raw hunger and thirst.
I must give the world my poem and my word,
Without having to fall on my sword.
We all started out in life with a loving few,
And now we must live with an unloving crew
The heart can be touched by crying,
But the soul knows not of dying.
It's smiles we give and tears we fall.
We belong to the universal call.
We become a lot of what we find,
And even more than nothing of what we leave behind.
As time moves on and moments go by,
You become more conscious when you hear the human poverty cry
I write these words of wisdom
Like a vision, like a sage
And see the many sides of anger and rage.
The children draw the curtains.
Poverty draws the blinds.
I'm sick and tired of war and dying.
Sick and tired of hunger and homelessness crying.
I'm into me and I'm the whole world's lover
And, I know there are many mysterious things to discover
The road less travelled is the road best left behind
And the better one, perhaps, is the one we've yet to find.
Existence is forever so short
But life, at times, too long.
Old fashioned, I might be but most of the poetry nowadays doesn’t turn me on. I like the stuff to rhyme, while this thing of survival gets on my bloody nerves.

The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life by William Tiernan
Poetry, lyric poetry, modern and contemporary, Irish authors
122 printed pages. Paperback.
First published in Ireland, in 2022, under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher
ISBN: 978-1-911442-41-7

About the Author

William Tiernan is an Irish poet and author who resides in rural Galway, close to the Roscommon border. His writings reflect his personal experiences and convictions as well as strong ties to the community in which he lives, his identification with the place where he grew up.

Three volumes of his poetry have been published to date: Greetings from Guilka, Ballymoe: Poems from the Head and the Heart (2016) and Bluesy Ballymoe: Pulse and Hearts above Zero (2018) and The Joys of a Second Rattle at Life (2022)

In 2014, he was National Winner in the poetry category at the Hanna Greally International Literary Awards, organised as part of the annual SiarScéal Festival in Co. Roscommon.

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