Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HAPPY ST. PAT'S

I think this post on The Best American Poetry site from my great friend the poet and songwriter Terence Winch is about as good a tribute to what this day means as you'll find anywhere (including the unfortunate commercialism).

And to cap it off here's a link to a column from Thomas Cahill in today's NY Times that sums up the beautiful scholarship in his book HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION (which mentions, the book that is, the branch of the Lally clan that were considered "aristocrats" in their part of the country before they fled with the rest of "the wild geese"—mostly to France!—after the Brits successfully took over much of their land centuries ago, not my ancestors obviously).



{PS: Thought I'd add this formal photo of my grandfather Mike, an Irish peasant who left Ireland as a teenager to travel to Amerikay and after working as a "footman" for a rich man's coach and other jobs (including raising and lowering the bar blocking traffic for passing trains before they elevated the tracks in our town) he became the first police officer in South Orange, New Jersey. By the time I knew him he was a retired old "drunk" as "the Americans" saw it, but I still loved him dearly and was at his bedside with others in the clan when he took his last breath, just a boy myself still, noticing that we shared a lot, including the same nose!]

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear M:
Thanks for the plug, the great photo of your grandfather, and the link to the Cahill piece. Today's Washington Post had no references to this special day whatsoever, with the exception of a mention in "Blondie" and "Dennis the Menace."
TPW

Robert G. Zuckerman said...

Great photo and great to partake in your's and TPW's conversation, writings and musings about Ireland and the history of this day and your culture, roots and spirit. I like the reference to "up Fifth Avenue" which is now "down." I remember that too from being a kid in NYC, a few years behind you guys.

harryn said...

very cool ...
i particularly enjoyed what Cahill said; "the ancient Irish never embraced classical cynicism or the gloomy Greco-Roman sense of fatedness."
There's a lesson to be learned about the un-jaded and fresh view of the world we can all benefit from ...