Echoes of W.B. Yeats 2.
‘He wishes For the Cloths of Heaven’
This is powerful love poem ending with;
‘But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams’
The Fiddler of Dooney is a light piece which resonates appropriately the musical tradition of Sligo. Of course many of his poems include local place-names which make for the area around Sligo being a tapestry for a good deal of the poetry of Yeats. ‘Red Hanrahan’s Song about Ireland’ is a fine elemental piece; ‘The old brown thorn-trees break in two high over Cummen Strand….’
We come now to a number of poems which former leaving certificate students will be pretty familiar with. There is a transition of style with the author introducing more topical affairs and his own views and beliefs. ‘No Second Troy’ addresses his disappointment and acceptance of his relationship with Maude Gonne;
‘Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery,’ ending with
‘Was there another Troy for her to burn’?
Yeats vents his frustration with the Ireland of his day in September 1913
‘What need you, being come to sense
But fumble in a greasy till’
He ends each verse with the repetition lines which became famous;
‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave.’
Indeed the poem is very valid today and especially as we move towards 1916.
The following is one of my favourite poems by Yeats, though like films, songs and so on this can change. It is a little like a story I remember being told of a Boyle couple resting in a square while visiting London wherein their young daughter began to dance. She was seen by an elderly Irish lady who approached the parents to tell them of the memories it evoked of a time and world long past for her.
To a Child dancing in the Wind, 1916
Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water’s roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool’s triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind!
The poem, very typical of Yeats in the years preceding the Easter Rebellion of 1916, expresses the tension between the innocence and freedom from care of youth and the dark realities of adult life.
I realise I am just fiddling here with the poems of Yeats. It is just to remind people of some of those great lines and maybe some people will revisit these verses which, like so much, are accessible now if you are an online person. As a Maynooth student told a friend of mine; ‘The three most important words I learned in Maynooth coming up to exams were ‘copy and paste’!
One of the debates of the moment is that of the 50 cent per hour rise in the minimum wage to €9.15. I listened to a spokeswoman, basically for the ‘hospitality sector’, on the Vincent Browne (Michael Clifford) Programme last night espousing all kinds of negative impacts for this. Apparently it took a Commission –the Low Pay Commission- to come up with this figure. The basic ‘Living Wage’ is €11.50 which is the aspirational target of the unions. Don’t hold your breath on that one. I wonder how many of ‘The Low Pay Commission’ members were on either ‘the Minimum’ or ‘Basic Living Wage'
TV Programme of the Week; ‘Inside Job’ RTE Wednesday 11.30.
This was a jaw-dropping exposé of the capitalist system in the United States and how it led to the recent economic CRASH. The machinations and corrupt practises of the top executives of nearly all the U.S. banks and allied financial institutions beggared belief. The ‘Minimum Wage’ is our alternative planet. In Wall Street multiples of millions and billions swilled around. The ‘lobby’ system which strangles the U.S. Government was to the fore as executives moved seamlessly from being part of extraordinary failures of their banks to top public economic positions in government under President Bush, with the Obama administration similarly engaged. ‘Light touch’ or no ‘regulation’ were the order of the day
A new and telling element in it all was the role of the University Economic Dons many of whom were central to creating and endorsing the, what are termed the ‘logarithms’ of the capitalist system. Many of these economic gurus are so entangled in the system that their objectivity is totally compromised by being on a plethora of boards etc. The economics departments of the top universities of the U.S. were the ‘engineers’ of the sub- prime and ‘derivatives’ chains which led to the crash. One of the ‘banks’ which played a big role was Goldman Sachs who had Irishman Peter Sutherland in a top position, whenever. The programme suggested that the gap between rich and poor was greater now than it was for, one might say forever. This generation is one of the first to have a poorer standard of living than their parents had. For such a great country which has contributed so much on so many levels the U.S. is a real anachronism. Within a mile or so of the glitz of the tourist attractions of Washington there is great poverty.
This impacts us all as even in this town the Danske Bank (formerly The Northern later the National Irish) and AIB closed leaving just one, The Bank of Ireland. The attitude of the decision makers in the Irish banks was shown in their resistance to the Minister for Finance’s calls on mortgage interest payments. We are regularly advised, in terms of seeking value, to ‘shop around’ but the shops (the banking ones certainly) are consolidating and thus becoming fewer.
Boyle GAA- a Good Evening’s Work
Boyle had two very good wins on Wednesday evening the 22nd last. The seniors defeated Strokestown in the Senior League at Strokestown. The game did not have the same amount of champagne football as the previous victory over St. Brigid’s but still it put a second good win on the back of a class performance in Kiltoom. Perhaps Boyle were a little over-confident on the basis of Strokestown being short a number of players but while Boyle started well enough, Strokestown with some lovely scores from Compton led at half time by 1.8 to Boyle 0.7. Early goals from Donie and Enda Smith in the second half were decisive though there was a little anxiety towards the end when Strokestown added a second goal from a penalty to leave just two points in it. A second goal from Enda after good work from substitute Colin Goldrick sealed the deal. The final score was; Boyle 3.14 Strokestown 2.12. ‘Man of the Match’ for Boyle was Sean Purcell.
There were several good performances such as from, Cillian Cox, Kieran McGowan, Ml. Hanmore, Damien Keenehan, Jim Suffin and the Smiths with Evan McGrath making a major contribution on his introduction. Well done to all involved again. It was refreshing to see some ‘fisted’ points from Boyle. You know how I like those.
The team’s onward schedule looks like this (terms and conditions apply); August 1st v Elphin, League, Boyle. Week-end 8/9 v Kilmore C’Ship, venue to be confirmed (tbc)/Aug. 15/16 V St. Croan’s, C’Ship venue tbc/Aug. 23rd/24 v Strokestown C’Ship venue tbc. 30/31st last league game v St. Faithleach’s.
The minors had a very good win over Roscommon Gaels in the Abbey Park. They came from six points down to win on the score of Boyle 3.12 Roscommon Gaels 2.12. This was the second round of their Division Two Championship. They are in a group of five in which they lost the first game to St. Faithleach’s. The top performances here were Kearney- again- in goals, Cox, Regan, Simon and Moran in backs, Flanagan especially when moved to full forward and Liam Casey. ‘Man of the Match’ went to Louis Garvin who came on as a substitute with youngsters Kelvin Morris and James Bolger also doing well when introduced. Well done to manager Donal Kelly- an unsung hero of Boyle football for a long time now-Kieran McKeon and Francis Bolger.
The Golf Open
As you might gather from previous postings I am a diligent reader of the Sport’s Section –and other contributors- to the Sunday Independent. Last Sunday there were a number of articles. Dermot Gilleece wrote well on the ‘Magic’ of St. Andrews golf links and of meeting past champions and their representatives. The piece was illustrated by a picture of Tom Watson on the famous Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole. An ankle injury and the dark clouds outside (turf campaign postponed) afforded me the opportunity to watch much of the Open and listen to one of the great sports commentators, Peter Alliss. The performances of young Dunne and Padraig Harrington gave us hopes for an Irish top involvement on the last day, Monday, but alas it was not to be.
The Davey Byrne ‘Incident’
Both Niall Collins and Eamon Sweeney wrote on the Davey Byrne hospitalisation incident in the Dublin v Armagh ‘friendly’ game. We await ‘white smoke’ on that but don’t hold your breath. The new President of the GAA, Aogan O Fearghail from Cavan has been making noises but … feichfimid le fechfimid or perhaps not!
Dr. Ray Moran and the Cruciate Knee Ligament
On page six there was a not very subtle heading ‘At cutting edge of knee injuries’ relating to Dr. Ray Moran’s –brother of soccer player Kevin-journey with sports injuries especially the infamous ‘cruciate’ ligaments in the knee. I could write an essay on that issue. An acquaintance of mine once referred to the ligament as the ‘crucial’ ligament. How right he was.
Bother in Clare Hurling
Page 7 had Jamesie O’Connor trying -and succeeding-to be objective about the travails in Clare hurling considering his old playing colleague Davy Fitzgerald is central to it all. Anyway we will be there for the all-Ireland Flead in 2016 God willing.
Paul Kimmage on ‘Tour’
On page 8 Paul Kimmage throws his sceptical eye on the Tour de France and especially on Team Sky and its leader, English cyclist, Chris Froome. Ironically Lance Armstrong turned up cycling the course for a charity on each of the days prior to the Tour. While the tour seems to attract huge attention in France its credibility is in the melting pot.
Pat Hughes on Sligo’s Hopes
The contribution of Sligo’s senior team player, Geevagh’s Pat Hughes, must have made painful reading for him on Monday regarding Sligo’s optimism against Mayo. Is this going to be Mayo’s year? You never know. Surely it has to happen sometime, hasn’t it?
Roscommon Girls U 16 in All-Ireland Final
Congratulations to Roscommon Ladies U16. All-Ireland ‘B’ Finalists Sinead Keenehan (Management); Sinead Glennon; Aine Mullins; Roisin Wynne; Ruth Cox
Roscommon U 16 girls will contest the All-Ireland U 16 ‘B’ Final in Nenagh, Tipperary on Wednesday July 29th next, against Waterford. This is as a result of their victory over Cavan last week in Ballinamore. Congratulations to Roscommon and especially Boyle’s representatives Sinead Keenehan as part of the management team, with players and panellists Sinead Glennon; Aine Mullins; Roisin Wynne and Ruth Cox. I hope to be there. (James Dodd, if you read this, have the kettle boiling and tell P.J.Maxwell I’ll try and contact him then).
Mayo v Sligo
It was like men against boys in the Connacht final at Hyde Park on Sunday last as Mayo put Sligo to the sword. The performance of Aidan O’Shea at full forward was awesome. Mayo have now won ‘five in a row’ Connacht Championships. The last team to do this was Galway from ’63 to ’67. There is a question mark over the possibility of Mayo having done it around 1910 but it is inconclusive. Roscommon’s best was four in a row from ’77 to ’80. (A Roscommon contact from London espoused to me by email; ‘It could have been worse, it could have been us’. As Peter Alliss might say ‘Dear Dear, no need for that’).