17 March 2014

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

That crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

— Wm. Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Born in Dublin, son of a well-known portrait painter, educated in Dublin and London,
Yeats spent his summers in the family's summer house in Connaught.
He founded the Irish Theatre (later the Abbey Theatre) with Lady Gregory.
I had the distinct honor of singing several times with his grand-daughter,
Irish harpist Catriona Yeats. The long mouldering Farleys, Cuniffs, and their ilk
must have been smiling (I hope), at their crazed descendant.


  1. Ah, feeling so Irish today! I love the irish writers and poets. Hope it's a fine St. Patrick's Day for you!

    1. It was, Jacqueline! I do love the Irish poets. No one seems to be able to set down their longing and pathos in words as they do.