Listen: Hometown Blues - a poem by Cork poet laureate  William Wall, inspired by Rory Gallagher 

In the first of his monthly poems, William Wall takes inspiration from visits to City Hall, 40 years apart 
Listen: Hometown Blues - a poem by Cork poet laureate  William Wall, inspired by Rory Gallagher 

William Wall: Cork's poet laureate. Picture: Denis Minihane.

William Wall is a poet from Cork, and was recently appointed the city's first Poet Laureate. 

An initiative of the Munster Literature Centre that is funded by Cork City Council, Wall's role will writing a poem every month for the next ten months, giving a personal response to issues in the city and county. 

The Irish Examiner will publish these poems in the first week of every month, and the works will also be collected into a chapbook to be launched at next year's Cork World Book Festival.

Hometown blues 

i.m. Rory Gallagher

as I step the boards
feeling that familiar bounce
I hear the shouts
the stamping feet
I am back in ’71
my best friend and me
up from the country
for the homecoming
Rory’s mama in the kitchen
his dad saying get a job son
a million crazy fans
stamping out the rhythm
the whole floor a drum
(you can’t fight city hall)
hair and flares and crazy shirts
I’m going to my hometown


the whirligig of time
declares me old enough
for this round of vaccine
two young soldiers marshal
me to my stall
(you can’t fight city hall)
a young nurse gives me the talk
and waves a hypodermic
they’ll be holding me a while
ambulance crew guide me
to my seat among the geriatrics
I look at all the waiting
sixty five year olds and think
how many of us were here
in this place fifty years ago
when Rory played my hometown 

(Cork City Hall Vaccination Centre, May 2021)

Listen to William Wall reading Hometown Blues in the player above.

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