Showing posts from August, 2013

RIP Seamus Heaney - Soilse na gréine linn inniu

Another legend passes through the furoles of history into the abyss of immortality. 

Seamus Heaney's Death of a Naturalist was one of the first books of modern poetry I ever studied, and the works therein have since stayed with me. Heaney was a genius of realism, of taking the landscapes of rural Ireland and glorifying them, making the Irish farm reach an apotheosis that no one else could offer. He was a great analysis of the difficult times his country faced in his lifetime. He won the Nobel Prize, the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Golden Wreath, the E.M. Foster award, and countless other honours whilst writing, touring, and translating various classics texts. Would that he not have left so soon, for poets half so meaningful are a rarity these days. His prodigious works of true art will remain whilst he travels to another realm toward his own apotheosis. 

"When a poem rhymes, when a form generates itself, when a metre provokes consciousness into new postures, it is already on the side…

Story for the Day: The lads they went a-huntin’

Frewyn, like all the nations of the Two Continents, has its own traditional songs. There are church hymns, hunting songs, reels and jigs, but there are no songs are more sacred to Frewyn than those written by their most famous beloved poet: Tirlough the Brave. Hunter, General, Laird over Westren proper, Tirlough composed lyrics and melodies during the seasonal hunts, to be sung in the evenings round the campfire. Little did he know how famous his poems and tunes would one day be. Some of his works are written in Auld Fremhin and some in Modern Common. Here is one he composed while on a hunt with his brother Tydhgan:
The lads they went a-huntin’ under Suibhne’s loftae grace, An’ set tae hunt with the gorm, tae bring home a bonnae brace o’ the finest harts an’ conneighs tha’ the townsfolk ‘ere did spy,  tae skin, tae gut, tae roast, tae cut, tae feast intae the night.
The lads went huntin’ o’er the hills, troddin’ through the verdent downs, Their sacks well stocked, their bows o’ noched,…

Story for the Day: The Two Giants -- Part 2

Continuing with Frewyn's fable of the two legendary giants Cathal and Cine, as sold by Sister Mithe at the church of TussNaTuillin: Cine, however, would remain under his master’s harsh command. He would learn to follow in his brother’s submission, he would govern his indignation, enjoy his dejection, or he would die under his reprimand.   Frannach deemed Cathal ready to realize the whole of his transgression and accept his remorse, and he lead him to the Karnwyl churchyard and permitted him to sit on the sward while the God pay a visit to a Sister who had called for his assistance. There, sitting on the sward, enjoying the quiet verdency of the south in summer, unbridled and unchecked, he understood the fullness of his crime, for when a child from the church came to speak to him, one whom he had made an orphan by his recklessness, he was compelled to learn the mortifying lessons of charity and commiseration. The child sat beside him, made him a generous present of a few carrots, an…

Story for the Day: The Two Giants -- Part 1

Frewyn has many myths and legends, one of the most famous is about Cathal and Cine, two giants from Frewyn's frigid desert of the south, who decided that they were going to drive away the children of the Gods from their home and ended up receiving a standing lesson in tolerance and benevolence. 
The giants of old, who, according to Frewyn’s history, lived along the southern borders of Karnwyl, and though there was land enough to share the space with those amongst the fre-mhin, the Gods’ children, to settle there and form their archaic and dotted villages, the giants could not approve any addition to their primitive society in the south. They lived amongst the snows, settling in the drifts and huddled against the raging squalls, eating the grouse and squirrels and roasting pine cones, and though they were formed to survive the most unforgiving of climates, and enjoyed their seclusion rather well, they could not abide the ceaseless tumult of noise emanating from the churches and squa…

Story for the Day -- Paudrig's Hunt - Part 3

Paudrig, racing in from the common room in full gradulation, afforded him no opportunity of rest, however, for the moment the child came titupping over the threshold, his exhilaration overpowered every other feeling at the table. Children were crying out for toast and yeast paste, Mithe was assuring Deas that digging in his nose regardless of how industriously would not produce nothing than a gleimous nug, Dimeadh was making his blesiloquent mafflings and trying to cry over Fionntra’s latest offense, and Paudrig was dancing about Ciran and Gaumhin, all the inglorious trials of impatience attacking him, eager to be out and be hunting something. The furoles of fire from the few candles lit round the room affronted Gaumhin’s dawing senses, he quietly begged that Paudrig would sit and eat his breakfast. He did sit, though very restively, his feet fidgeting about, his mind all alive with his next quarry, and he had not eaten two spoonfuls of oats when he suddenly remembered, “Mithe, did a…

Story for the Day: Paudrig's Hunt --Part 2

Standing on its hind legs, glaring down at the boy who entered his den, the bear let out a horrible roar. The ground shook under the strength of the sound, the dripstones broke and shattered as they fell, the humid stench of festering fish filled the air, the breath billowing out from between the bear’s  jaws, and in a fulmination of teeth and claws, the bear leapt out of the darkness and toward the child. The immense grizzled beast emerged, and Paudrig’s vision grew measured. A surge of gallantry assailed him as the bear lunged at a slowed pace, and though he felt all the magnificence and enormity of such a creature as it barreled toward him, he returned the attack with all the ferocity that Tearlaidh himself could do. With spear held high and spirits seething, Paudrig launched himself into the air. He thrust his arm forward, pulling his spear ahead of himself, his feet lifting off the ground, his blade careening forward, his body following the force of his exertion. The scene prolong…

Story for the Day: Paudrig's Hunt -- Part 1

Children are great dreamers, and often have no problem telling you about what it is they wish for. Most of them dream of bathing in vats of candy, reigning as magical fairy princesses, and becoming indomitable knights in shining armour, disemboweling formidable foes and saving the world. And some of them just want to be the greatest hunter in the kingdom:
Notions of bears and hunts, woods and wilds, seethed rampant through Paudrig’s unconscious mind as he resigned himself to sleep, and all his aspirations were for seeing the bear again and deciphering the location of his legendary den. Aghus was gracious and granted him his wish: his dreams were all for tracking and tracing the bear’s path from the garden into the raging wilds and through the mountains. Tearlaidh might have been somewhere by—he could not tell-- but finding Mharac, discovering his den and waiting for him to return thither that he might trap and subdue him was all his private delight. All the plans had been laid, all the…