Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Thank you Muireann, a star in Poetry Ireland.

Thanks very much Muireann, you are a star in Tara's vigorous throng of rhymers. May we all live forever and never grow up, old, or lose our way when seeking truth thru the literary thickets and spoken word woods. may Her hand guide ours on and off the page of our imagination and stage of Her reality, life, love; and letters that will bring us a path over the other side of a stream only one in a hundred will get you across.

Kookullanary (copyright John Cummins Poetician) Chuculainary. Thanks very much. This is our first time in Westport and it could well be, i suspect, the one heat that a canny slammer may well have the best shot of winning, as it being the first time, who knows how many will turn up? It may be a repeat of the 2008 Leinster final, in O'Neill's pub on Suffolk Street, booked two months in advance, on what turned out to be, the inaugural Arthur's Day.

The two poets that managed to find in the jammers madness, the snug there - in this unforeseen potential disaster - they won just by turning up and going thru the motions, doing one or two poems each. Live, to a packed room of competing social interests, low down the list of which was poetry. And judged by Fintan O'Higgins, and a kind couple of random strangers, it happened, democratic, straight and true. And two very lucky poets that won by default and just turning up, fell into the all Ireland final in Limerick 2008 - and second ever one that came perilously close to not happening on the night - by good fortune of fate/poetry/dán.

Sláinte, grá agus síocháin.

Desmond Swords, three-quarters Mayo (grandparents), and a quarter wesht Cark Macroom bae shoal, trapped in a proto-Lancashababru voice and language invented by the 14C Hiberno-Norman Poet Earl, Gerald FitzGerald, 3rd Earl of Desmond, Lord Chief Justice 1367-70, who turned the French speaking Hiberno-Norman aristocracy into Gaeic speakers, and his most famous work, composed when held hostage by an O'Brien rival in the Kingdom of Desmond, Mairg adeir olc ris na mnáibh, was traditionally translated during the Celtic Twilight:

Speak not ill of womankind,
'Tis no wisdom if you do.
You that fault in women find,
I would not be praised of you.

Sweetly speaking, witty, clear,
Tribe most lovely to my mind,
Blame of such I hate to hear.
Speak not ill of womankind.

Bloody treason, murderous act,
Not by women were designed,
Bells o'erthrown nor churches sacked,
Speak not ill of womankind.

Bishop, King upon his throne,
Primate skilled to loose and bind,
Sprung of women every one!
Speak not ill of womankind.

For a brave young fellow long
Hearts of women oft have pined.
Who would dare their love to wrong?
Speak not ill of womankind.

Paunchy greybeards never more
Hope to please a woman's mind.
Poor young chieftains they adore!
Speak not ill of womankind.

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