Friday, March 16, 2007

A Little Poetry for You: Irish Poets


Happy Poetry Friday, and in advance, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Liz has the round-up this week. Much Yeats and other good things to be found there.

As I've recently discovered (or admitted to) my Irish ancestry (a full one-eighth... at best), I thought I would put on a little green and and a little Irish spirit and delve into a little Irish poetry.

I'll start you off with this List of Irish poets (born in Ireland or Irish citizens) from Wikipedia.

I'm offering bits from four of these Irish poets today. For the first two, you can click on the last word of the excerpt to see the entire poem. For the others, I've shown the links separately, as there is also audio (of course!) to enjoy along with the text.


Bagpipe Music
Louis MacNeice

It’s no go my honey love, it’s no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won’t hold up the weather.
I Hear an Army
James Joyce

I hear an army charging upon the land,
And the thunder of horses plunging; foam about their knees:
Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,
Disdaining the rains, with fluttering whips, the Charioteers.
Mossbawn Sunlight
Seamus Heaney

There was a sunlit absence.
The helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
water honeyed

in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall
Go here for the rest of Mossbawn Sunlight, and the audio. It's quite lovely.

And of course, no quick look at Irish poets is complete without a nod to this man...
The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
You can find the full text of The Second Coming here. I've always loved this poem, especially the "things fall apart" line.

Also, I know I linked to this a few weeks ago, but I still love listening to Yeats talk about how his verse should be read, and what a "devil of a lot of trouble" it took to get the verses just right.


3 comments:

Secret Rapture said...

I discuss Yeats' poem at:
My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon, by my hand!
Read My Inaugural Address
My Site=http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman
Your jaw will drop!
(Note: Firefox browser blocks the annoying Angelfire popups.)

Anonymous said...

"As I've recently discovered (or admitted to) my Irish ancestry..."

Definitely the latter...I noted the Irish descent years ago when I was heavy into the research but nobody listened to me...anyways welcome aboard...maybe someday your brother will admit it too!!LOL

Nancy said...

I don't know about that K. It might be easier to make a Red Sox fan of him.