Thursday, March 12, 2009

Erin Go Bragh!

Even since I was young I have had an uncanny fondness for St. Patrick's Day. Perhaps it was the feeling of connection to my Celtic heritage or perhaps it was merely its proximity to my birthday. Every year when given the opportunity to choose my special Birthday cereal I would inevitably choose Lucky Charms because of the Leprechaun. On my 8th Birthday I went so far as to play Pin the "Pot o' Gold on the Rainbow" at my party. Ever since I was young I have also had an uncanny fondness for theme parties.

Every year around this time I take the opportunity to reflect on the glory that is Ireland and Irish literature. I relive the sensuous pleasures of "Blackberry Picking" with Seamus Heaney, the bafflement of my first exposure to Samuel Becket's Waiting for Godot, and the joys of meeting the Irish Poet Laureate, Paul Muldoon.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Muldoon a few years ago when he did a small reading in St. Louis. He had unkempt hair, a wrinkled blaser, and an infectious laugh. He was everything you could hope for in a poet and more. His mellow, even lilt transformed his words into the stuff of legends, and I could almost smell the loam of Irish earth. That might seem a little dramatic, but his poems really did sound Amazing! with an Irish accent and a crooked smile.

So here's a little bit of his Ireland to get you in a festive mood

The Frog
by Paul Muldoon

Comes to mind as another small
amongst the rubble.
His eye matches exactly the bubble
in my spirit-level.
I set aside hammer and chisel
and take him on the trowel.

The entire population of Ireland
springs from a pair left to stand
overnight in a pond
in the gardens of Trinity College,
two bottle of wine left there to chill
after the Act of Union.

There is, surely, in this story
a moral. A moral for our times.
What if I put him to my head
and squeezed it out of him,
like the juice of freshly squeezed limes,
or a lemon sorbet?


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