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BRING IT HOME! AVIVA TEAM UP STEPHEN JAMES SMITH TO DELIVER POWERFUL GOOD LUCK POEM FOR IRISH RUGBY
The Poet skilfully weaves his way through Ireland’s greatest sporting achievements to deliver a rousing message for Ireland to ‘Bring it Home’ on St Patrick’s Day
Aviva, proud sponsors of the home of Irish Rugby, have teamed up with Dublin poet and playwright Stephen James Smith to deliver a powerful, poetic good luck message to the Ireland rugby team as they seek to secure a Grand Slam against England on St Patrick’s Day.
The powerful poem meanders through Ireland’s greatest sporting moments to deliver a moving and rousing piece that wills Ireland to ‘Bring it Home’ to the Aviva Stadium, where the video to accompany the piece was both filmed and recorded.
With nods to the classic rugby poems of Invictus and Rugby Football Excursion, Smith blends his contemporary style with classic rugby poetry to compose a piece with heart and skill, perfectly capturing the performance of Ireland throughout this year’s tournament.
Paying tribute to past and present players, the poem also nods to previous sporting heartbreak, before also celebrating the Grand Slam wins of the past, including the Ireland Women’s historic 2013 efforts. The poem concludes with a rallying call to action for Ireland to ‘Slam it home’ as they prepare to face England in Twickenham on Saturday.
Stephen James Smith is best known for his poetry ‘virals’ which have amassed over 1million views on YouTube and feature best known pieces ‘My Ireland’ and ‘Dublin You Are’. This tribute to the Ireland Rugby Team is not the first time Stephen has delved into sporting success, he was also asked to perform for the successful Irish Olympic team in London 2012.
Mark Russell from Aviva said:
“It’s a piece with power, heart and a slice of good humour which we feel perfectly embodies the characteristics of Ireland as a nation, as well as this rugby team that has inspired the country with its performances this year.
“Unfortunately, fortress Aviva won’t get the opportunity to stage this final game, and that’s why we loved Stephen’s ‘Bring It Home’ message because no matter where our fans will be watching, they’ll be united in willing the Grand Slam to come home.”
Stephen James Smith said:
“I’m a proud Irishman and Dubliner, so I was delighted to pay this tribute to a team that has achieved so much already. I was inspired by history to tell this story of a present day team that embodies the qualities of past-winners, but do so with their own style.
“A Grand Slam win would be special on any day, but to clinch it on St Patrick’s Day would be a truly momentous occasion. I hope a few of the players get to hear my poem beforehand, so if they win I can say I helped!”
For more information, contact:
Ireland: Mark Russell – Mark.Russell@aviva.com
UK: Kitt Smith – Kitt.Smith@synergy.global
FULL POEM TRANSCRIPT:
Bring It Home by Stephen James Smith
As clubs, counties, provinces unite,
We set forth on our excursion, crossing borders
And class divides ready for the fight!
A brief incursion with Wanderers from,
Sportsgrounds, Thomond, Ravenhill, Donybrook,
Trying to bring it home evoke Invictus with a bit of luck…
Bringing it home for more than an acronym IRFU,
Doing it for the crowd, me and you,
Singing voice aloud with ‘manic aggression’ and control,
We are the Best captains of our unconquerable soul.
With swirl of faces, flags and emerald jerseys,
We remind the mind of 'the fear of god',
The style of Kyle, BOD, Briggs
Eccentric scoring Axeled around the
Endurance of one-way thinking.
We remember the wooden spoons, Triple Crowns, knock-ons,
Knock backs, forward passed, battle cries of “I’ll play for you all day”,
Rosary praying, clichéd sayings, dropped chances
And perfect Parisian drop goals, future folklore yet untold.
We take the glory of 1948, 2009, 2013 and
We take Stockdale in the team of 2018,
Where we can all dream, even Gary Breen
of a team answering Ireland’s call,
To swing low and pluck that rose a Saxon foe,
After Azzurri, dragon, thistle and Gallic coq
Bringing it home on Paddy’s Day wont be such a shock!
Bring it back to our pantheon, our palindrome,
Sure we always say we’re "grand"…
Time to prove it and Slam it home!
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ABOUT STEPHEN JAMES SMITH
Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland today. To date, his poetry videos have amassed over 1 million views online.
In 2017 he was commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival to write a new poem as a “celebratory narrative” of Ireland. The resultant piece ‘My Ireland’ is accompanied by a short film by Director Myles O’Reilly, arranged and mixed by Conor O’Brien (Villagers), with music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Loah, Saint Sister, Eithne Ní Chatháin (aka Inni-K) and Ye Vagabonds. It has been viewed over 300,000 times online and was screened at London Film Festival in Trafalgar Square on March 17th. The poem was in many ways a follow on from Smith’s previous poetry video Dublin You Are, which itself clocked up in excess of 250k views.
Stephen has performed at high profile events and festivals such as the Electric Picnic, Other Voices, the National Concert Hall, the Abbey Theatre (Noble Call) and Vicar Street (alongside Oscar winner Glen Hansard and Colm Mac Ionmaire); and further afield at the London Palladium, the Oscar Wilde Awards in LA, Glastonbury, George Town Literary Festival (ML) and other events in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Iowa, Montreal, Ottawa, Bangkok, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Utrecht, Ljubljana and Warsaw. In 2012 he was invited to perform for the Irish Olympic team in London.
Stephen has been conducting poetry workshops in secondary schools around Ireland for a number of years and was recently announced as an Artist in Residence with Dunamaise Arts Centre and Laois Arts Office, where he will develop the first ever Laois Spoken Word Project for young people in the county. His poetry is included on the syllabus at Western Connecticut State University and his work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian.
Stephen’s debut collection, Fear Not, is published by Arlen House with a launch due in Spring 2018.