The Poetry Wall

President Michael D Higgins adds his composition Stardust to the Farmgate Poetry wall in October 2018

Claire Keogh

President Michael D Higgins adds his composition Stardust to the Farmgate Poetry wall in October 2018
The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
Gerry Murphy, poet
Gerry Murphy, poet
Detail of The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
Detail of The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
President Michael D Higgins adds his composition Stardust to the Farmgate Poetry wall in October 2018
The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
Gerry Murphy, poet
Detail of The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
Detail of The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork
The Poetry Wall at the Farmgate Café Cork

An ini­tia­tive of Gerry Mur­phy, Poet, and Kay Harte, ‘the poetry wall’, which is on per­ma­nent view in the Far­m­gate CafĂ© din­ing room, is a unique col­lec­tion of poems, by Cork, Irish and inter­na­tional poets, com­mis­sioned by the Far­m­gate CafĂ© in 2005 to cel­e­brate Cork’s year as Euro­pean Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture. Known locally as ‘The Great Wall of Cork’, this won­der­ful col­lec­tion of framed prints based on hand­writ­ten poems forms a dis­tinc­tive and unique poetic instal­la­tion encased in a lin­ear dis­play cab­i­net sus­pended along the inside wall of the din­ing room over pun­ters and patrons. Such was the response to the project how­ever, the total num­ber of poems exceeded the ini­tial dimen­sions and so four extra poems in two pairs book­end the cab­i­net, com­plet­ing this unique collection.

Part of the Far­m­gate CafĂ© and Mar­ket lore, The Great Wall of Cork was offi­cially ‘launched’ on Fri­day 13th Octo­ber 2006 at 6pm. To cel­e­brate this beau­ti­ful instal­la­tion, Gerry Mur­phy and Sen­a­tor Bren­dan Ryan opened the exhi­bi­tion with the help of TomĂĄs Ó Canainn (poet and musi­cian) on uileann pipes with Nuala (his daugh­ter) accom­pa­ny­ing her father on fid­dle. A very spe­cial occa­sion, friends and poets gath­ered for an evening of music, song and poetry, food and drink in the ancient Irish tra­di­tion. Sadly five of the con­trib­u­tors have died sub­se­quent to their con­tri­bu­tions, Michael Davitt, Greg O’Donoghue, SeĂĄn Ó Tuama, TomĂĄs Ó Canainn, and more recently John Montague.

In Octo­ber 2018 Pres­i­dent Michael D Hig­gins vis­ited the Far­m­gate CafĂ© and, sur­rounded by some of the city’s best-​known poets, play­wrights and authors, added his own hand­writ­ten com­po­si­tion Star­dust to the poetry wall.

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