Inspiration from the landscape


Physical landscape can often provide a source of inspiration for the creative talents of people. This is especially true of the area around Killiney Hill Obelisk. The obelisk was built in 1742. The local landlord John Mapas initiated the building of it as part of a general relief scheme for the poor in the area.

Severe weather conditions at the time meant that work was difficult to find. The obelisk has undergone many alterations since its inception, the initial work having been carried out by mostly unskilled workers.

Today it is a well-known landmark and is visible for miles around. The view from the hill is wonderful encompassing the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, Dalkey Island, Dún Laoghaire and much more amazing scenery.

Physical landscape can sometimes simply capture the imagination of the people, regardless of its history. Standing on Killiney Hill beside the obelisk provides moments for quiet contemplation for many on a daily basis. One person inspired by the area was Criostoir O'Flynn, the poet who compiled a collection of poems entitled 'The Obelisk Year'.

There are 52 poems included, one for each week of the year. Included in the compendium is an Introduction detailing the poet's relationship with the area and how that came about. The first poem in the anthology is entitled 'The Launching - Pad'. It describes the obelisk and hints at the inspirational qualities of it.

Another poem 'Enlightenment' describes the area around Killiney Hill, including the Druid's Chair. The poems are very descriptive and indicate the importance of the physical landscape to all humankind.

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