Every Sunday morning, RTE 1, the national radio broadcaster here in Ireland, puts out a show called Sunday Miscellany, as they have done since long before I was born and as I hope they will do for many years to come.
Sunday mornings mean Sunday Miscellany
Its new radio essays and occasional poetry followed by complementary music capture our times, passions and curiosities. The contributor led content is selected from open submission and commissioned writing presented by new voices and established names.
Reportage, appreciations, memory pieces, poetry, travel writing and personal accounts of events and happenings are the stuff of Sunday Miscellany. The programme is part of Sunday mornings since 1968. It is essential listening to thousands across Ireland and the world.
For those of you not blessed to call our little island home or who might be otherwise occupied in the early hours of a Sunday, you can listen to the live show or archived podcasts here.
For me, Sunday Miscellany was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. It used to play on the radio in the kitchen as we were all pottering around getting ready for mass and while my dad was diligently over-boiling the egg he used to make time for on Sunday mornings. There’s something about its gentle content, conversational voices and calm music that still appeals to me now, and I usually have the car radio tuned to RTE 1 as I dash between church commitments every week.
One of the joys of Sunday Miscellany is that it’s seldom topical and is contributor led so you don’t really know what you’re going to get but you do know it’s going to be quality. I was thinking recently that I’d like to capture a little of the essence of Sunday Miscellany here and so I’m going to try to create my own little unpredictable but meritorious weekend melange over the next while.
So, to start, have a poem and a piece of music. The poem is Resurrection by the Czech poet Vladimir Holan which is one of my favourite poems and a Sunday kind of piece, I think. And the piece of music is the beautiful The Lark in the Clear Air – another familiar sound from Irish radio on a Sunday morning and my party piece when requested!
Is it true that after this life of ours we shall one day be awakened
by a terrifying clamour of trumpets?
Forgive me, God, but I console myself
that the beginning and resurrection of all of us dead
will simply be announced by the crowing of the cock.
After that we’ll remain lying down a while…
The first to get up
will be Mother… We’ll hear her
quietly laying the fire,
quietly putting the kettle on the stove
and cosily taking the teapot out of the cupboard.
We’ll be home once more.
translated from the Czech by George Theiner