Friday, March 17, 2017

Tastes of Ireland

I thought, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I would do a Taste of Ireland post for you all--music, poetry, book suggestion, and tastes of the Irish influence in my own writing to celebrate this festive day. My heart belongs in Ireland, and I hope you enjoy this fangirly post with some gorgeous scenery.

Taste of Ireland //writing: Micheal
Micheal....I don't know where Micheal came from. It was born of inward bitterness that found great redemption on paper. It is the story of a young Irishman who is trying to live his life the way he wants and runs away from home to do it. While he's on his journey to something better, he finds God and love and the sound of the sea. Here are some snippets:

The mist covers my view of the sea, and no birds break the sky to lead my way and remind me of why I am here. But in the stillness--stillness so quiet that a pebble would sound if it clattered from its resting place--I can still sense the chafing of the waves on the rocks below. Silky murmurs that quiet me, and make me continue my way as if in a dream. 
 The girl is beautiful, like a young deer climbing along the heights, gowned in a dress of soft fawn shade. Her hair curls alluringly over her shoulders, the color of the cinnamon spice that I saw once being unloaded from a trading ship as I passed by, and her lips are small--the lips of a girl. But her eyes are beyond her age, like twin pools holding ancient magic in them, and it is those eyes and the play of her tiny white hands in a little, confiding gesture as she thinks her own thoughts, that capture my heart and make it hers. 
And run I do, through the town, past the villagers that are hurrying out of houses, out to the well that stands away from the town, near an old forest. A young woman stands on it, clinging to the posts so that she will not fall in, suspended between one death and another. And beneath her stands a wolf-- a great diabhal shining out of his eyes in their yellow fierceness. His breath blows up in the frosty winter air, and his teeth clench in fierce anticipation of his prey. He is huge, the largest wolf I have ever seen.

Taste of Ireland//writing: War of Loyalties
War of Loyalties kind of accidentally turned into a book with Irish characters in it (they were Americans originally) and when it's published, you'll find a couple of funny or dramatic Irish characters to keep you entertained throughout. While I had to take it out of the book due to space, Terry O'Sean's family emigrated to America during the potato famine. I love the richness of the backstory. Alas, the section talking about that is no longer available to curious eyes, but I think you'll still find plenty of Irish to keep you happy. And a little more historically accurate Irish at that.

   Ben smiled. "I picked up the talent. What brought you from Ireland to Folkestone, if I may ask?"
   "Weel," Terry O'Sean drawled, "I've knocked about some, but I jumped in over my head on Easter, 1916." ~War of Loyalties 

Taste of Ireland//music
I call myself a Thunderhead and enjoy a lot of the classic Irish songs sung by Celtic Thunder. They are my main source of Irish entertainment--you'll find a lot to smile about in Ireland's Call and Home From the Sea and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. Mythology and Heritage are their best albums, both of which have seen me through a lot of exercising and driving to work. I'll probably throw some on tonight to celebrate.

Taste of Ireland//Finn MacCool
If you're in the mood for some Irish books I actually don't have a ton to offer (my friends on FB helped me out, and I hope to review much more in future. But of course, you might enjoy the Irish legends about the band of the Fianna who went questing and stuff (a la Studio C) around Ireland. They fought with Vikings, enchanted creatures, and each other, and it grips/wrenches/tears your heart to pieces as you read. If you haven't experienced this stirring mythology in the phenomenal writing of Rosemary Sutcliff, be sure to lay your hands on a copy of The High Deeds of Finn MacCool.

Taste of Ireland//poetry 
Lastly, a taste of Ireland that I hope you'll take away from this St. Patrick's Day is one of the most stirring poems I've ever heard--The Foggy Dew, by Charles O'Neill. O'Neill wrote it shortly after the tragic Easter Rebellion of 1916, where the Irish fought for freedom and were staunchly quelled by the British. While my favorite musical rendition is done by Deborah Brinson (sadly unavailable) you can find other renditions by The Dubliners and The Chieftains. And here's the poetry itself for you to enjoy:

As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
There Armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
No pipe did hum, no battle drum did sound its loud tattoo
But the Angelus Bell o'er the Liffey's swell rang out in the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
While Britannia's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

As back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, when you fell in the foggy dew.


  1. I need to find time to read The High Deeds of Fin MacCool - it's been on my shelf since October, and I'm REALLY eager to get back into Sutcliff :)

    Ahh, but my uni lecturers are kind of intent on drowning me in "weekly required readings" ^_^ *sighs* :D

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, my dear friend! <3

    1. It's a great one--especially for the fall/winter season, I think! Sutcliff is so inspiring, isn't she?

      Hehe, you go, girl! I can't imagine what it would be like to have required readings, but I know you'll be amazing at it. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, too!!! <3


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