My name translates, from Latin, into ‘dove’, a symbol of peace.

As a pacifist brought up in an Ireland that lived in the shadow of ‘The Troubles’, I grew to accommodate, even respect, my name (which was difficult at times, as it was ‘unusual’, often misspelt, and frequently a hindrance), mainly because of its symbolism.

Not so long ago, I embraced both my name and its connotations by getting a tattoo. Written and drawn on skin, I am proud of the work of art created, a dove in flight, wings outstretched, an olive branch in its beak.

Today, I came across a poem in the The New Yorker, titledĀ The Dove, by Yehuda Amichai, translated from the Hebrew by Bernard Horn:

‘The dove brought news

of the end of the flood, an olive leaf

in her mouth, like a man holding a letter

in his mouth as he searches for something

with both hands

or like a girl holding pins

in her mouth as she repairs her dress.’

I love this, it so encapsulates the power of poetry to just say, and to just say so succinctly and so beautifully.