Ballygortha native Marie Lyons moved to Louth as a young seventeen-year-old. She is a member of Drogheda Creative Writers, who only made their debut on the Droichead Arts Stage last February and is dipping her toe in the waters of poetry.
She has self-published her first book “Between the Lines”. Inspiration coming chiefly from her journey through life and her verse deals with the impact of loss, the power of love, friendship, and hope.
Not many people get into poetry by happenstance but that is what happened to her as she says herself “More by accident than anything else! I have always had my head stuck in a book for as long as I can remember, and I can thank my Mum for encouraging me to read as a child,” states Marie.
Later in Ard Scoil Mhuire, her English teacher Mrs. Mary Molloy encouraged her youthful writing endeavours, and she has never forgotten that. “There is that saying that we all have a book in us, and it is true – everyone has a story. I recently completed a four-year degree course in Counselling and Psychotherapy during which time my class was all encouraged to write about themselves “, Marie explains.
Lockdown arrived and one day while she was gazing at a bunch of roses that were gently dying, they gave her a stirring for a poem ‘Corona Roses’. Once penned she began to write daily. She didn’t know what to call it as she hadn’t been a particular fan of poetry and did not feel she was entitled to call it such – but in the end, no other word fitted better. And so began the poetic journey through her life as memories flooded her head.
Some of her favourite memories from her childhood include being part of the musical ‘The Sound of Music’ during fifth year under the guidance of the late great Kay Purcell. She was really hoping to get a part as one of the children but to her surprise, which she admits – and slight dismay) She was cast as Captain Von Trapp!
“We really bonded so much as a group – and when Ann Murray Fraser and Catherine Gunvalsen Burke who were instrumental in organising a school reunion – it was evident how much that musical meant to us all as we sang songs from it during the night, and unfortunately, she can’t finish on this without mentioning Helen Salmon, the most beautiful Maria, who sadly passed away last year. When Edelweiss was sung acapella in the church at her funeral, we were all moved to tears as memories of those sweet innocent days floated in on the notes”, she fondly recalls.
Sharing her story with others so publicly has been such a powerful and humbling experience and she has been so well supported by family, friends and even strangers in getting this book out.
“People respond to honesty and vulnerability, and this is how we break down barriers. We are after all, more similar than we are different, we all feel pain and loss and fear and hope,” she notes.
Not a follower of any particular Poet - she believes that words can move, connect and inspire, change, and define us and it is so important that they are used well. She believes that being a mother has been the most rewarding experience during her life and this has helped shape her writing.
“I got lucky, I found a way to shape words into sentences that tell stories that seem to resonate with people, and I am so grateful for that. It has opened a whole new world to me, and it is quite simply amazing!” states Marie.
She believes young poets should continue to write and find out what inspires them, youth shouldn’t be too critical of themselves, editing later on will assist with this. Her most important piece of advice is to write about something that is relevant to you. She would like to thank Geraldine Moran Barrett and Dermot at Salmons and all their local support.
“Between the Lines” is available to buy in Salmons Shop Main Street and online at https://www.buythebook.ie/
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