One of the most engaging voices contemporary spirituality in is that of the Irish poet, Pádraig Ó Tuama. This second poetry collection arises out of a decade of his hearing stories of people who have lived through personal and political conflict in Northern Ireland, the Middle East and other places of conflict. These poems tell stories of individuals who have lived through conflict: their loves and losses, their hope and generosity. One poem, “Shaking Hands” was written when Ó Tuama witnessed the historic handshake between Queen Elizabeth II and Martin McGuinness, who has since used the poem publicly.
The phrase “Sorry for your troubles” is used all over Ireland. It comes directly from an Irish phrase, yet Irish has no word for bereavement. So the phrase would be better translated “Sorry for your bereavements.” With this in mind, this new book speaks evocatively about a time when thousands of people lost their lives and many thousands more lived through the searing pain of grief.