Wednesday, August 20, 2014

War Anniversaries (3)

War Anniversaries/Songs and Poems (3)

Dunsany Wayside Cross
Ireland of 1914 was a mishmash of conflicting interests under the umbrella of Home Rule and the out break of  the war would prove divisive for many of them although tens of thousands would enlist on Redmond's call to arms. Some did so out of a sense of duty, others of necessity or just a simple taste for adventure or that it was expected of them but I would imagine that for most poverty was the driving influence and that if they were lucky enough to survive the horrors of the trenches then that's what they came back to and were forgotten. Some of those doing the most remembering today would have had little in common with them and if they lean in any direction now it is one of convenience or the fashion of the times. It has been said of 1916 that if they'd waited Home Rule was on the cards and you could argue that is how things turned out in everything but name. We swapped London for Brussels. The slant of it though before we went all euro was some version of what could be said to be establishment friendly and finding it's roots in those who were sheltering under those umbrellas in 1914. One of the most popular or familiar poems from that period would have to be Francis Ledwidge's "The Lament for Thomas MacDonagh"  in that it made its way into a number of schoolbooks and the others were kept safely out. But they're there and the ones that caught the public imagination  Some say that the  victors write history but a few poets.....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peoples Internet Radio (2)

Peoples Internet Radio (2)

Over there on the air waves James Linnane and Jimmy Hagan continue their poetic journey, with this week's guest, or should that be last week's, being the Canadian author Carolyne Van Der Meer. And very interesting too. Carolyne's book "Motherlode" was recently published and is available from the Wilfred Laurier University Press (here) . Wonder who they've got lined up for next week? James led off, and although in no way related to the interview, except in that they both deal with war or in some way with wartime experience his reading of the Proclamation (1916) made for a fair old intro. The show goes out at 9pm on a Saturday night and a link to the above and the podcasts or other interviews can be found if you  visit "Bookchat Corner" over to your right, or the station above
. A little alternative entertainment if you get tired of advertisements for ice cream and the cars you can't afford. Give a listen!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bailieborough Poetry Festival 2014!

Bailieborough Poetry Festival 2014!

 Skirmish of the Writing Groups- Saturday 11th October at 5pm in Murtagh's Lounge, Main Street.

Kilmessan Village

"A unique event which will feature a selection of writing groups producing lively material in a light-hearted, competitive vein. A much sought-after and uniquely designed prize will be on offer to the most entertaining, innovative  and interesting team of the day. Teams can comprise of three or more members (blood subs not allowed). The format of the event to be decided at a later date.....Interested?????"

E-mail Paddy: 

So if you're interested in a poetic skirmish or an enjoyable evening the above may be just for you.. The photo is of Kilmessan Village but sure you'll allow for that. The hurling team is hanging in there and the camogie team is going for six in a row! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Meath Writers' Circle (Meeting) August 2014!

The Meath Writers' Circle/August 2014!

Writers' Circle
About fourteen or fifteen turned out for the above meeting with a lively discussion on a number of items from events of one hundred years ago to present times. Two members have books about ready for publication with one at the proof reading stage and the other one should be ready later in the year. More info to follow on both in the coming weeks. Poems were read and stories told and the next meeting something different is planned! Have to enter a few poems in a competition or two. Keep the effort up and waiting for inspiration to strike!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

War Anniversaries (2)

Songs and Poems!

St. Patrick Tara
Two of the most popular and indeed excellent ballads of the first world war were written by the Scottish/Australian singer-songwriter Eric Bogle (The Band Played Waltzing Matilda and The Green Fields of France) and are no celebration of anything that went on. Exhortations to pack up your troubles or it was a long way to anywhere, would I imagine have got little airtime from anyone who survived the horrors of the trenches and I wouldn't attempt them myself in a public house in 1919. But maybe I'm wrong. In this neck of the woods probably alien to the mindset and more at home in the Dublin drawing room or theatre hall. There may be very good war poems or songs written by others than Francis Ledwidge or Tom Kettle but most people wouldn't be familiar with them and the jingoistic ballads were consigned to the nostalgia set or to those who hadn't been there. Pleasant and all as they were.All our songs were sad! There is an anthology of war poems covering the period 1914 to 1945 "Earth Voices Whispering" an anthology of Irish War Poems by Gerald Dawe/Blackstaff Press but had to look up the info and yet to read. When you consider the number of Irish men who fought in the great war; where are the songs and poems? You could probably name a few but that's it. Hearts and minds! On the other side..... A subject to get back to. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Universal Soldier

Still on the theme of war and looking around at what's going on in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Libya, the Ukraine, South Sudan, the Congo, Somalia and a few others I might have forgotten, as Mick Sheils said, Try Talking! Anyway here's Buffy and her take on the whole thing. With thanks to the person who posted!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

World War One Anniversaries!

World War One Anniversaries!

The above is a memorial cross to the last war to come rolling through this neck of the woods and neglected enough it is, but the last few days and indeed the next few mark a number of anniversaries when the great nations of Europe took leave of their senses and embarked on a series of conflicts that would leave millions dead and even more injured and maimed. This county alone saw hundreds of those who enlisted counted among the war dead and most of them are now forgotten as if it never happened. Though in the past few years this might have been put to right to some degree and Noel French's "The Meath War Dead" from The History Press Ireland lists them by name. Most people though get their history from the school books or popular ballads and songs and the  poetry and prism of those poems and songs counts for a lot. The events of Easter 1916 overshadowed everything and although they were only a fraction of the number involved in the Great War, the poems of Pearse and W.B. Yeats and others, and indeed the songs from then and after are the constant that remains. Likewise in England for the war poets. A subject to get back to!