Preface addressed from Erinfa [home], Harlech, Wales; CONTENTS: Tennyson in Ireland ; The English Spoken in Ireland ; James Clarence Mangan ; Sir Samuel Ferguson ; Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu ; William Allingham ; Early Irish Religious Poetry ; Celtic Nature Poet ; The Preternatural in Early Irish Poetry ; Dr Joyces Irish Wonder Book ; Folk Song ; Edward Bunting ; George Petrie as an Artist and a Man of Letters ; George Petrie as an Antiquarian ; George Petrie as a Musician and Amongst His Friends .
Note, Essay on The Preternatural in Early Irish Poetry quotes from Eleanor Hull, A Text-Book of Irish Literature (M. H. Gill & Son) on the mingling of the actual and the purely imaginative [...] the perpetual intrusion of fairy lore [and] the gravely historic importance which [the annalist] attaches to the genealoies and wars and settlements of the gods [...] nor when Dr Geoffrey Keating comes to complie a connected history of Ireland in the seventeenth century, does he show much desire to sift the real from the unreal. [n.p.; cited 134]; also cites Mr Stopford Brookes fine introduction to his son-in-law Mr T. W. Rollestons High Deeds of Finn, on Tir n an Oge [sic] as the invisible lands and peoples of the Irish imagination. , and comments, Clearly they are of the stock of the De Danaans, who, upon the Milesian invasion, descended into fairyland, and follows it with his own versification of Kuno Meyers prose rendering of a lyric in the Book of Leinster, here called The Fairy Host . His version of The Lament of the Old woman of Beare, also after Meyers prose, is given on pp.156-59.
DEDICATION: Essays on Irish and Celtic poetry and Music [...] reminiscences of [...] Mangan, Bunting, Petrie, JS Le Fanu, Sir Samuel Ferguson and William Allingham, Tennyson [to whom my uncle, Robert P. G., had been host at Windermere, and to whom I was guest at Kilkee) and PW Joyce. PREFACE: lectures to various societies and articles n various magazines. Verse trans. from Irish also appearing in Harpstrings of the irish Gael, with cover design by George Morrow . Erinfa, Harlech, N Wales. [NOTE: APG son of Bishop of Limerick, and Pres. of RIA. See p. 204].
Tennyson in Ireland; 1842; [also ?1848]; 1878
He and his son guests of Lord and Lady Monteagle. Persuaded by Aubrey de Vere to visit Ireland to see the largest waves in the British Isles. Toured West with de Vere, of Curragh Chase. lawn tennis. [In 1878] there was a rich burr in his accent, Lincolnshire, I suppose, and a pungent directness of utterance which were as refreshing as they were unlooked for. In 1848, Tennyson in Kerry, looking for big seas, followed by conspirator: Be ye from France?
Tennyson told Graves that he much desire to write an Irish poem, and was on the look-out for a suitable subject. Could I make a suggestions.? [...] sent Joyces Old Celtic Romances [cited by Hallam as Celtic Legends] Hallam continues: By this story he intended to represent in his own original way the Celtic genius, and he wrote the poem with a genuine love of the peculiar exhuberance of the Irish imagination.
Graves regrets that T. had not read OGradys Silva Gadelica: I make no doubt he would have given us a saga immeasurably more true to the Celtic spirit than his Voyage of Maeldune [...] deeply interesting though it is as a great English poets attempt to express the Celtic genius.
Tennysons other Irish poem, To-morrow, is founded on the story told him by Aubrey de Vere. Hallam T. notes, he corrected his Irish from Carletons Traits &c, a proof of the poets extraordinary laboriousness, and a crying comment on the want of an Anglo-irish or Hiberno-English dialect dictionary. [...] deeply sensible to the tragic side of Irish peasant life [...] an interesting assertion of his belief in the artistic value of Irish dialect in verse: Irish Doric, as he once wrote of it to me.
English Spoken in Ireland [review of PW Joyce].
The first detailed analysis and systematic classification of Anglo-Irish speech [...] received dialect collections from 64 persons in all parts of Ireland and Great Britain [...] leading writers who make use of didfferent forms of AI and HE dialect [...] quotes them at lartge [...] digests all articles &c on the subject. Influence of Irish pronunciation, Eliz. English, and Lowland Scotch. Prepositional peculiarities [...] Charles Wolfe: And we far away on the billow. (in Burial of Sir John Moore).
James Clarence Mangan
The Irish famine, whose horrors are reflected in his New Years Lay, profoundly affected his imagination. [...] Mangan in temporary cholera shed in Kilmainham [...] collapsed [on release] removed from wretched cellar in Bride st. and died after seven days in Meath Hospital.
This essay quotes extensively from WR Le Fanu, Seventy Years in Ireland. [qv].
Of Carlyle he saw much more than most of that great mans friends, for during some years scarcely a week went by in which they did not walk together. [...] Allingham used to recount how Carlyle would sometimes begin by flatly contradicting him, and end by tacitly adopting what he said. A stroller, he tramped through Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland as Patricius Walker [...] letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham.
Allingham raises a v. interesting literary question. He states that he did not find it easy in ballad writing to employ a diction that might hope to come home to the English-speaking Irish peasant using his customary phraseology, and also keep within the laws of poetic taste and the rules of grammar; for that phraseology, being as regards its structural peculiarities but an imperfect and distorted expression, not an ancient dialect like that of Scotland, is generally too corrupt, though often forcible, to bear translation into poetry. .. From these conditions [i.e., the use of words such as distress in special senses as meaning bodily want] it comes that the choice of words for poetry in Irish-English is narrowly limited, instead of there being both that variety and racinesss which is sometimes in the gift of a genuine peculiar dialect. [PARA] But after 15 yrs experience, A qualifies the strong term imperfect or distorted expression, as applied to the structural peculiarities of the Irish peasants phraseology, to mean unusual forms, some of them old-fashioned English, some translated or adapted from Gaelic forms. This is a very important modification of view, and surely such forms, derived as they are from Shakespearean English and classical Gaelic, are as ancient and respectable in their historic and literary associations as the idioms of the mod. Scotch dialect. [PARA] As final concession that some not unimportant poetical results might flow from a judicious treatment of Irish dialect has been more than justified by the event. [cites Ir. Lit. practitioners including Moira ONeill, Fahy, Armstrong, Stephenson, Synge, Gregory, Boyle, Yeats etc.] A has, however, very justly pointed out that during his time Irish-English has never been properly examined [cites PW Joyce] (Studies, p. 77).
George Petrie as an Artist, &c.
As Dr Stokes points out, Petrie may be said to be the discoverer of the Aran Islands, at least from the antiquarian point of view. He paid then two visits of considerable duration, the first in the twenties of the last century, before the islands had been as much influenced from the mainland as they have gradually become. Indeed, an interesting contrast might be made between Dr petries experiences on the islands and those fo Mr J M Synge. It is, as a descriptiv writer and painter of character, such as he found it in Aran, that we are here concerned with Dr Petries relation to these islands. Quoting, with three notes of exclamation, Pinkertons statement that the wild Irish are at this day known to be some of the veriest savages of the globe, Petrie proceeds to show that after visiting Aran out of a desire to meet the islanders who were reputed to be the most primitive people within the five corners of Ireland, he found them to be where uncontaminated, as in Aranmore and Inisheer, a brave and hardy race, industrious and enterprising, simple and innocent, but also thoughtful and intelligent; credulous, and in matters of faith what persons of a different creed would call superstitious, but, being out of reach of religious animosity, still strangers to bigotry and intolerance. Lying and drinkingthe vices which Arthur Young in his time regarding as appertaining to the Irish character, formed at least no part in it in Aran. Not that they were rigidly temperate, instances of excess followed by the usual Irish consquences of broken heads did occasionally occur; such could not but be expected when their convivial temperament and dangerous and laborious occupations are remembered. But, he adds, they never swear, and they have a high sense of decency and propriety, honour and justice. In appearance they are healthy, comely, and prepossessing; in their dress, with few exceptions, clean and comfortable. In manners serious yet cheerful and easily excited to gaiety; frank and familiar in conversation, and to strangers polite and respectful; but at the same time wholl free from servile adulation. They are communicative, but not too loquacious; inquisitive after information, but delicate in asking it and grateful for its communication. / Petrie described four typical Aran islanders of his day, Mr OFlaherty, one of the two aristocrats of the islands, the Rev. Francis OFlaherty, their venerable pastor, Tom OFlaherty, who combined the honourable practice of medicine with the less distinguished calling of tailor, and lastly Molly MAuley, the wise woman [...] Petries account of the first three are reproduced her in small print over pp.209-13, all quoted from Stokes. [Graves, in Irish Lit. & Mus. Studies (1913).