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Desmond O'Grady a great citizen of world poetry

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The Irish poet, who died on Monday, adventured across many literary cultures, and he brought back some rare discoveries

There is a scene in Fellini's La Dolce Vita, the fourth night episode, in which a group of intellectuals sit around reading poetry and looking suitably serious. One of them is an Irish poet, a part played by an actual Irish poet, Desmond O'Grady, who died on Monday.

O'Grady, who was born in Limerick in 1935, started writing poetry in his teens. This early work was strongly influenced by TS Eliot and Ezra Pound, whose poems he encountered at weekly meetings of the Limerick Poetry Circle. He attended boarding school in Tipperary, where his fellow students included Thomas Kilroy and Tom McIntyre and where he developed a passion for rugby.

I saw my life and I walked out to it
as a seaman walks out alone at night from
his house down to the port with his bundled
belongings, and sails into the dark.

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