Thanks for your comments re touring in Ireland. I hope to go there in late Sept. or early October for about ten days and every scrap of information will be helpful in the planning process.
Thanks for the information on Kanturk, B&B's etc. I'm grateful for any info. or opinions you may have re touring in Ireland. Thanks also for the fascinating post and poem on the Tuatha De Danaan.
Wouldn't it be cool if we could all meet in Ireland in the Fall!
Todays poem is by Pearse Hutchinson. Hope you all enjoy it:
Bartley Costello, eighty years old,
sat in his silver-grey tweeds on a kitchen chair,
at his door in Carraroe, the sea only yards away,
smoking a pipe, with a pint of porter beside his boot:
'For the past twenty years I've eaten nothing only
periwinkles, my own hands got them off those rocks.
You're a quarter my age, if you'd stick to them winkles
you'd live as long as me, and keep as spry.'
In the Liverpool Bar, at the North Wall,
on his way to join his children over there,
an old man looked at me, then down at his pint
of rich Dublin stout. He pointed at the black glass:
'Is lú í an Ghaeilge ná an t-uisce sa ngloine sin.' (2)
Beartla Confhaola, prime of his manhood,
driving between the redweed and the rock-fields,
driving through the sunny treeless quartz glory of Carna,
answered the foreigner's glib pity, pointing at the
small black cows: 'You won't get finer anywhere
than those black porry cattle.' In a pub near there,
one of the locals finally spoke to the townie:
'Labhraim le stráinséirí. Creidim gur chóir bheith
ag labhairt le stráinséirí.'(3) Proud as a man who'd claim:
'I made an orchard of a rock-field,
bougainvillea clamber my turf-ricks.'
A Dublin tourist on a red-quarter strand
hunting firewood found the ruins of a boat,
started breaking the struts out-- an old man came,
he shook his head, and said:
'Aa, a mhac: ná bí ag briseadh báid.' (4)
The low walls of rock-fields in the west
are a beautiful clean white. There are chinks between
the neat white stones to let the wind through safe,
you can see the blue sun through them.
the walls grow higher, get grey:
an ugly grey. And the chinks disappear:
through those walls you can see nothing.
Then at last you come to the city,
beautiful with salmon basking becalmed black below
a bridge over the pale-green Corrib; and ugly
with many shopkeepers looking down on men like
Bartley Costello and Beartla Confhaola because they
speak in Irish, eat periwinkles, keep
small black porry cattle, and on us
because we are strangers.
(1) An Irish-speaking area.
(2) "The Irish is less than the water in that glass."
(3) "I speak with strangers. I believe it's right to be speaking with strangers."
(4) "Ah, son: don't be breaking a boat."
For more on Pearse Hutchinson go to: