Category Archives: Guest Blogger
The University of Arizona Poetry Center- Kenyon Review Managing Editor Tyler Meier Named New Executive Director
Authors Father Christopher Corbally and Dr. Margaret Boone Rappaport Will Give a Presentation at The Eighth International Conference on “The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena,” at the Hayden Planetarium, America Museum of Natural History, in July 2013.
by Mattie Lennon
Look what we’ve done to the old mother tongue
It’s a crime the way we’ve misused it
It’s been totally disgobbled
Pulverised and gollywobbled,
We’ve strangled, mangled, fandangled
And abused it.
So the song says. But did we do it any damage? John Dryden said that a thing well said will be wit in all languages. In my part of Wicklow the transposition of vowels seemed to be almost as popular a pastime as locking referees in car boots. And did it do any damage? No..I’m not asking about depriving the GAA arbitrator of his liberty on a winter’s day in Rathnew, I’m referring to a bit of re-adjustment of the A, E, I, O and U’s.
In my part of the world the language of Synge survived into the final decades of the twentieth century and beyond. Only recently a neighbour with a somewhat defective ticker told me that he had been fitted with a “Peace-maker”. I know of a case where a lady with notions asked an apprentice carpenter to make a “Mate-Seaf”. Nowadays, incredulous gazes meet the disclosure that it used to take a lot of courage, in Kylebeg, to say tea instead of “tay”; and to refer to unpolluted H2O as anything other than “clane wather” meant you were getting above your station. You’d soon be reminded that it wasn’t long since you didn’t have an arse in your “brutches”.
The “hins” were fed off the “led” of a pot; when it was necessary to communicate with absent relatives the “pin an’ ink” were taken down; and that reviled member of the rodent species was called a “rot”. It would be said of the less-than-honest they’d “stale the milk oua yer tay”. A welcome visitor would be invited to “take a sate an’ give yerself a hate” and if you weren’t “plazed” by a frank comment, you were said to be “aisy effinded” – you were sure to be “med game of”. The single arch spanning a “strame” was a “brudge”; those who through hard work or a windfall would progress from thatch to a “toiled” or ” ganvalized” roof on their dwelling, and every County Council cottage had an outside “labatery”.
A “dacent little girl” was an unmarried female, of any age, who wouldn’t let a male in a mile of her. Whatever about the Catechism definition of Grace, in our part of the world it was “the juice o’ fat mate”. And if you were of an argumentative dispossession it would be said that you “would rise a row about the kay o’ the dure”. Songwriting was easier here than elsewhere because floor rhymed with sure and bowl rhymed with howl. A snob might have “a collar an’ tie on his nick an’ a watch on his wrust” but no male would go so far as to sport a “gould” ring. Nobody would admit to having “flays” themselves but would comment that a certain neighbour’s house was “walkin wud thim”.
You could expect a “could day whin the win’ was from the aist”. Ewes “yaned”, you ploughed “lay” and you “bilt the “kittle”- unless it “laked”. You “gothered” the sheep, “muxed” the pig-feeding and you could “bate” the living daylights out of someone “whin timpers ed be ruz”. But in such “is-there-no-one to-hould-me-coat” situations there was usually someone to make “pace”. The piece of binder twine used to restrict the movements of the canine was a “lade”. Beyond was “beyant” and an old neighbour of mine went so far as to do a bit of consonant-juggling resulting in “belant”.
The clothes were held on the line by “pigs” and a brave man – or maybe one who didn’t have the courage to run away – was described as a “hairo”. Looking back on it now I reckon that the hillbillies of the old black-and-white Westerns with their “varmint” and “critters” would have fitted in perfectly in the Lacken of my youth. And I’m sure they would have adapted very quickly to describing the economy-conscious as “mane” and making stirabout from “yalla male”.
If you are not from my neck of the woods perhaps like D.H. Lawrence you will marvel: “That such trivial people should muse and thunder in such a lovely language”. If, on the other hand, you were reared anywhere between Knockatillane and Shillealagh you will recognise “…..that dear language which I spake like thee”.
THE NOBBER HARE
by Mattie Lennon
(Air; The Hills of Granemore)
With my hounds I have hunted this island all o’er,
Together we culled rabbit, stag and wild boer.
But of all the great quarries there was none to compare
With that beast above Navan; the giant Nobber hare.
All the creatures in Ireland of legend and myth,
Were trailing behind him in height, length and width.
The great Irish Elk would look up in despair
If confronted in combat by the giant Nobber hare.
Cucullen, in Ulster, his camán he did wield.
The goal was in Derry and Athlone centre-field.
The game he abandoned on the plains of Kildare,
When his sliother was eaten by the giant Nobber hare.
Sean Boylan a potion made up for his team
And the next day in Croker they played like a dream.
But the referee favoured the Dubs (‘twas unfair)
Until he was threatened with the giant Nobber hare.
Then a Northside sharp-shooter came into the frame;
From a forty mile distance he took careful aim.
And now, if you’re out after dark, just beware
For the ghost is abroad of the giant Nobber hare.
© Mattie Lennon 2007
Mattie Lennon- firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Writers of America- Vegas Convention Dates: June 25-29, 2013 Riviera Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Navada
WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA
Western literature is of the spirit, our spirit, the spirit of America
Membership is open to published writers, whose subject matter deals with the American West
Literature of the West for the World
That describes the collective product of WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICAN members.
Founded in 1953 to promote the literature of the American West and bestow Spur Awards for distinguished writing in the Western field, WWA today has more than 699 members worldwide.
Screen Writers Kirk Ellis (JOHN ADAMS) and Miles Swarthout (THE SHOOTIST)
Best-selling novelists C.J. Box (FORCE OF NATURE), Bill Gulick (BEND OF THE SNAKE), Lucia St. Clair Robson (RIDE THE WIND)
Historians Robert J. Conley (THE CHEROKEE NATION: A HISTORY), Paul Andrew Hutton (THE CUSTER READER), Candy Moulton (CHIEF JOSEPH: GUARDIAN OF THE PEOPLE)
Western Writers of America
271 CR 219
Encampment, Wy 82325
Vegas convention dates:
JUNE 25-29, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
The University of Arizona Poetry Center- Creative Writing MFA Graduate Readings & Hattie Lockett and UA Student Contest Broadside Exhibition
Smith Publicity- BookBaby Mega Book Launch Sweepstakes & New Fiction Book Publicity Services & BookExpo America