Poetry Corner – Derek Mahon ‘Everything is Going to be All Right’ 2

Welcome back to our poetry corner! This week we have Derek Mahon and his poem ‘Everything is Going to be All Right’.

Everything is Going to be All Right

How should I not be glad to contemplate

the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window

and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?

There will be dying, there will be dying,

but there is no need to go into that.

The poems flow from the hand unbidden

and the hidden source is the watchful heart.

The sun rises in spite of everything

and the far cities are beautiful and bright.

I lie here in a riot of sunlight

watching the day break and the clouds flying.

Everything is going to be all right.


Derek Mahon is an accomplished poet from Northern Ireland, having studied at Trinity College Dublin and the Sorbonne in Paris. Mahon published four collections in five years during the 2000s, receiving multiple awards including the Poetry Now Award.


Our chosen poem is published in his work Selected Poems, however I first discovered the poem in a different book. 


Having struggled with anxiety, a family member gifted me a beautiful book of poems called The Poetry Pharmacy. The collection is by William Sieghart, who has compiled existing poems which he then corresponds to specific emotions or feelings. For example, if you are feeling hopeless – he has selected a poem to help give you hope! If you are feeling restless, he has selected a poem he believes will help settle you. It is a brilliant premise for a collection and we thoroughly recommend it.


Mahon’s particular poem is, as probably expected, under the need for reassurance. Although, Sieghart also points out the poem is useful for soothing feelings of anxiety, depression and fear of mortality.


‘Everything is Going to be All Right’ is a similar reassurance to telling someone ‘this will pass’. It is a soothing thought that, no matter your troubles or pain, things will get better and it is unlikely that you will spend every day feeling the same sadness. 


Mahon acknowledges death in his poem, he doesn’t pretend that life is all fun and games, or always perfect. However, he accepts that there is not always a need to dwell on that. There will be moments where you can look at life and its beauty and be reassured that someday and at sometime, everything will be or feel alright.


We really hope you enjoy this poem and that it can offer you reassurance when needed.


If you are interested in the concept of The Poetry Pharmacy then feel free to use the link below to buy the work. We do really recommend it, it has certainly offered us comfort. 

Please note that we do get a tiddly bit of referral commission if you purchase a book via this link!

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