Wednesday, 3 May 2017


"There is another Irish tradition I'd like to mention. It is based on sheer arrogance, the determination to live. Poetry can keep life itself alive. You can endure almost anything as long as you can sing about it. Do you know Raftery? Anthony Raftery, from the eighteenth century, blind and illiterate, who carried a hand harp. He was standing in a bar and someone asked, who is that poor, frail old man leaning there in the corner with a harp in his hand? Raftery turned around and said: "I am Raftery, the poet, full of hope and love, with no light in my eyes, and with gentleness that has no misery, going west upon my pilgrimage by the light of my heart, though feeble and tired to the end of my road, and behold me now, with my back to the wall, playing music unto empty pockets."" 
James Wright

"Parliaments used to be given names. The Wonderful Parliament of 1386 was followed by the Merciless one; 1404 had the Parliament of Dunces, 1459 the one of Bats. James I had a Blessed, Addled and Happy Parliament; his son’s were Short, Long and Useless." Patrick Kidd in the Times today

1 comment:

  1. "They understood the word. Irish bravery was not the bravery of the lion but the bravery of the donkey...You held your ground. That was what was scary about even the smallest and most insignificant of the breed. Once they took a position, they were ready to fight. To deal with them you had to be willing to fight also, and not that many people on this poor globe were willing to fight..." T. Wolf Bonfire of the Vanities.