Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Testimony: A poem for my daughter on her departure

As the cardboard boxes stood in the hall and the packing process was underway, Margaret O’Donnell was inspired to write a poem reflecting on her daughter’s life and her departure for London in search of work as an architect.

Thu, Jan 17, 2013, 10:32



My daughter qualified as an architect two years ago. She recently left Ireland to join most of her class in London searching for a job.

As the cardboard boxes stood in the hall and the packing process was underway, I was inspired to write a poem reflecting on her life and her departure.

She loved art and design from her early years, to the extent that most corners of our house displayed scenes of people engaged in various activities which served as a source of amazement to one and all.


The boxes stand as testimony of another transition
Brown, deep and strong containing a lifetime of memories-
Spanning childhood, adolescence and adulthood
I peer in each day and revisit the memories of earlier years
Packed up now in neat cellophane wrap – all secure
Yet insecure – new beginnings and designs
Of a world awaiting new focus.

From a childhood of make belief constructed images in every cornice
So ingenious, that no one dare disturb your talented displays
You stand proud now to take your place among the great and yet undiscovered
Among the names of Wren and Foster, Nash, Rogers and Fowke
You will dwell, ponder, recreate and make innovative creations
In houses, towns, parks, cities and countries
The quality mark of your name will become colloquial
Your exceptional talent will inspire future generations
To engage in debate to expand their thinking with new designs
and new ways of relating to their world.

Here’s to you Deirdre, my pride and joy – may the light of your creativity lead to an interesting and rewarding career ahead. Know that I am always there in the background offering support to you, in whatever guise needed, as you journey onwards.

Love and hugs,

Mom xxxxx

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email for the activation code.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 10 days from the date of publication.