Soul of Skellig: A Celebration of the Skellig Islands through Poems, Prayers and Blessings, is a beautiful new book by poet and devotional writer Anne Herridge.
Anne is a reader of Irish American Mom and she has graciously shared a copy of this lovely book as a prize for one lucky reader to win.
But before I share details of the giveaway, let's first explore this exceptional book of poetry.
A Book of Poetry About The Skellig Islands
This collection of poems and blessings is truly a celebration of the Skellig Islands, which lie off the coast of County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland.
Skellig Michael, the largest of the islands, is a magical, mysterious and mystical place. It boasts a long history, and was once inhabited by monks, who built a monastery on its steep rocky slopes.
We previously explored the history of these incredible islands, in a post I wrote about Skellig Michael and featuring lovely photos submitted by another wonderful reader of Irish American Mom.
These remote islands in the Atlantic ocean have intrigued visitors and pilgrims for centuries. A deep spiritual presence can still be witnessed and experienced on these rocky islands.
In this book the poet, Anne Herridge, takes the reader on a journey to this secluded and isolated place, bringing the mystery and peace of this magnificent place to life through the written word.
The wonder and awe of nature in all its glory is celebrated in these poems. She shows deep respect and admiration for the dedication and faith of the monks who built their monastery in one of the most challenging and isolated places on earth.
The wildlife, birds, flora, fauna and marine life of these islands, on the very western edge of Europe, are all revered and honored through the beautiful words of the poems in this anthology.
Anne's words capture the spiritual soul of Skellig.
Here are a few excerpts from her work.
Soul of Skellig
Lonely, luminous, alluring
Perhaps a mesmerizing mirage of mist.
Unearthly, unfathomable, unparalleled
On horizon's haunting seascape.
Enthralling, enduring, exhiliarating,
A cathedral caught in incandescent cloud,
Imposing, inspiring, inexpressible,
Spires stretching skyward into spangled sunlight.
© Anne Herridge 2020
Staircase to Heaven
Narrow trail which curves and climbs above grey Atlantic scarf,
Twisting staircase pushing up the steepened skyward path,
Where oratory which views the world exudes a reverent peace,
A hand carved cross and drystone rock, its only altarpiece.
Silence reigns up on the peak, apart from whispered breeze.
Sea's breath below a distant hush as white waves swell and heave.
Here the sense of sanctity and holiness remains,
Here a light tread greets the soul, it's here that heaven reigns.
© Anne Herridge 2020
Spirit of Peace
Place of peace
Place of blessing,
Here where a thousand generations sought solitude,
The spirit of peace reigns
Home of order
Home of harmony,
Here where holy hands laboured through history,
The spirit of strength prevails
Place of prayer
Place of petition,
Here where the penitent knelt for centuries,
The spirit of devotion whispers
Pinnacle of praise
Protector of priests,
Here where sacred songs echoed through the ages,
The spirit of worship resounds
Here where the spirit of peace reigns.
© Anne Herridge 2020
Translation Into Irish:
Anne requested my help with translating the poem above into the Irish language. I enlisted the help of my aunt Máire, who is a native Irish speaker from Connemara, to make sure the translations were gramatically correct.
She helped translate three poems in the book.
Here is how Spirit of Peace sounds in Irish...
Spiorad Na Síochána
Áit na mbeannacht,
Anseo, áit ar lorg míle glúin sólás,
Rialaíonn spiorad na síochána.
Anseo áit ar oibrigh lámha naomha le chéile tríd an stair,
Bíonn spiorad an nirt faoi réim.
Anseo, áit a raibh an taithríoch ar a ghlúine tríd na haoiseanna,
Spiorad na deabhóide ag cogarnaíl.
Buaic na moladh,
Cumhdach na sagairt,
Anseo, an áit a raibh amhráin naofa ag macalla tríd na haoiseanna,
Bloscann spioraid na hadhradha.
Anseo, áit ina bhfuil spiorad na síochána faoi réim.
You can listen to this poem recited in Irish here...
Where To Purchase Soul of Skellig
Anne was born and raised in England, but she moved to Canada in 2004.
She began writing at the early age of nine, and hasn't stopped since.
She is the author of ‘God’s Love for You” which was published in 2010, and she recently published this beautiful collection of poems ‘Soul of Skellig.’
You can read about her inspirations for this book on her website, Anne Herridge.
Her book can be purchased through Amazon.
One lucky reader will win copy of Soul of Skellig, by Anne Herridge.
To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Saturday, October 16th, 2021.
Any comment will do. What you write does not affect your chance of winning, but if you need inspiration why not tell us if you have ever visited the Skellig Islands in Ireland or any of Ireland's coastal islands.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published, just used to contact our lucky contestant for mailing of the prize.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, October 16th, 2021, at the bottom of this blog post.
You may check out Irish American Mom’s complete terms and conditions for sweepstakes’ entries here.
Thank you to all who support this giveaway and share it with family and friends.
UPDATE - WINNER CHOSEN
Our winner has been randomly chosen using the Pick Giveaway Winner Plug-in for WordPress.
And the lucky reader is ….
Mary Dineen Stegemiller
I’ll send an email to arrange mailing of her prize. A big thank you to everyone for supporting this giveaway by leaving comments.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every comment.
If you like poetry, and especially Irish poetry here are some ramblings you might enjoy...
Happy reading to all.