My poem is based on Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If-’, a poem famous for its inspiring advice on how to be a man. ‘If-’ is a beautiful and motivational poem that has always been close to my heart. Although I love the poem, I realised that, as with much of the literary canon, ‘If-’ is written by a man for men. ‘When’ is written with the intention of being inspiring and appealing to women, while honouring the original poem. It is written for every woman.
The video features sixteen female poets: Anamaria Crowe Serrano, Kerrie O’Brien, Day Magee, Natasha Helen Crudden, Anne Tanam, Elliot Furlong Tigue, Deirdre Daly, Alvy Carragher, Fiona Bolger, Rosita Sweetman, Lynn Harding, Clara Rose Thornton, Jess Traynor, Amy Dwyer, Ingrid Casey and myself. My thanks go out to all these women for their talent and support.
Special thanks to Alvy Carragher, Kerrie O’ Brien and Jessica Traynor for their encouragement of the initial idea, and their support during production.
The video is also published in The Irish Times, along with the text of the poem.