Anthology of Irish verse - PDF book by Padraic Colum

Anthology of Irish verse

Anthology of Irish verse


From the editor's introduction:

I should like to call this an Anthology of the Poetry of Ireland rather than an Anthology of Irish Verse. It is a distinction that has some little difference. It implies I think, that my effort has been to take the poetry of the people in the mass and then to make a selection that would be representative of the people rather than representative of in- dividual poets. 

The usual, and perhaps the better, way to make an anthology is to select poems and group them ac- cording to chronological order, or according to an order that has a correspondence in the emotional life of the reader. 

The first is the method of the Oxford Book of English Verse, and the second is the method of the Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics. In this collection, — the last section,-— there is an anthology of personal poems that is in chronological order; and there is an anthology of anonymous poems — the second section — that is arranged according to an order that is in the editor's own mind. But the other sections of the anthology are not chronological and are not according to any mental order — they represent a grouping according to dominant national themes.

 This method of presentation has been forced upon me by the necessity of arranging the material in the least prosaic way. It would not do, I considered, to arrange the poetry of Ireland according to chronological order. Irish poetry in English is too recent.
The note that I would have it begin on, and the note that I would have to recur through the anthology is the note of racial distinctiveness. II Ireland is a country that has some kinds of literature — one a literature in Irish — Gaelic literature — that has been cultivated continuously since the eighth century, and the other literature in English — Anglo-Irish literature — that took its rise in the eighteenth century, Anglo-Irish literature begins, as an English critic has observed, with Goldsmith and Sheridan humming some urban song as they stroll down an English laneway. 

That is, it be- gins chronologically in that way. At the time when Goldsmith and Sheridan might be supposed to be strolling down English laneways, Ireland, for all but a fraction of the people, was a Gaelic-speaking country with poetry that had many centuries of cultivation. 

Afterwards English speech began to make its way through the country, and an English- speaking audience became important for Ireland. And then, at the end of the eighteenth century came Thomas Moore, a singer who knew little of the depth or intensity of the Gaelic consciousness, but who, through a fortunate association, was able to get into his songs a racial distinctiveness.

Some contents:

Introduction 3
PART ONE (The House, the Road, the Field, the
Fair and the Fireside)
A Poem To Be Said on Hearing the Birds Sing . . 23
The Song of the Old Mother 23
On Waking 24
A Day in Ireland 26
A Drover 28
The Blind Man at the Fair 30
Market Women's Cries 31
John-John 33
No Miracle , 35
Let Us Be Merry Before We Go 37
Had I A Golden Pound 38
The Coolun 39
Have You Been at Carrick? 41
The Stars Stani) Up in the Air 42
Dear Dark Head 43
Pearl of the White Breast 44
Country Sayings 45
Cois NA Teineadh 46
The Ballad of Father Gilligan 48
Ballad of Douglas Bridge 50
The White Witch 52
The Spinning Wheel 56
Ringleted Youth of My Love 58
Do You Remember that Night? 60
The Song of the Ghost 62
Lullaby 64
I Lie Down With God 65
PART TWO (Street Songs and Countryside Songs,
Mainly Anonymous)
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye . 69
Nell Flaherty's Drake 72
Allalu Mo Wauleen 74
The Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe 77
I Know My Love 79
The Lambs on the Green Kills Stood Gazing on Me . 81
My Love Is Like the Sun 83
The Nobleman's Wedding 85
Johnny's the Lad I Love 86
I Know Where Fm Going 87
The Streams of Bunclody 88
Lovely Mary Donnelly 89
Draherin O Machree 91
A Complete Account of the Various Colonizations. 93
The Boyne Water 95
The Shan Van Vocht 98
The Wearin' o' the Green 100
The Rising of the Moon 101
The Croppy Boy 103
By Memory Inspired 105
PART THREE (The Celtic World and the Realm
OF Faery)
Aimirgin's Invocation 109
St. Patrick's Breastplate 110
In Praise of May 112
The Sleep-Song of Grainxe Over Dermuid .... 114 

the book details :
  • Editor: Padraic Colum
  • Publication date: 1922
  • Company: New York, Boni and Liveright
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