Luke Kelly : Raglan Road (A Parade of Posts for St Patrick 1)

Thom Hickey from The Immortal Jukebox is posting a Parade of St Patrick’s Day Posts (Patrick’s Post Parade?) in the coming weeks…. begining with Luke Kelly singing Kavanagh’s On Raglan Road and via Flann O’Brien to Jack B Yeats.

My father often praised Luke Kelly’s On Raglan Road, in the course of castigating Van Morrison’s version. Patrick Kavanagh had some wonderful poems, most of which were included on the Leaving Cert curriculum. I remember being taken aback by the level of bitterness and vituperation in the rest of his poetry, when I read a Collected Works. I wonder how it would hold up now?

The Immortal Jukebox

For the week that’s in it The Immortal Jukebox series A Parade of Posts for St Patrick celebrates Ireland’s glorious heritage in Song, Poetry and Painting.

It seems to me that the, ‘Secret Sign’ has been revealed to generations of Irishmen and Irishwomen and that in response they have blessed us with inspiring voices and visions that will always echo through stone and time.


A Song from Luke Kelly

A Poem by Flann O’ Brien performed by Eamon Morrissey

A Painting by Jack B Yeats

Staff in hand let’s set off with Luke Kelly’s magisterial performance of Poet Patrick Kavanagh’s great, ‘Raglan Road’.

Luke Kelly was born to Sing.

Born to Sing.

In his singing there is passion pledged.

In his singing there is grief and rue.

In his singing there is enchantment.

In his singing there is Love and the whisper of old ghosts.

In his singing there is…

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The snowy mini-labyrinth of Mr Price

The snowy mini-labyrinth of Mr Price

A while back I posted my own effort at labyrinth building. Small sections of mini fencing (I am sure there is a more technical term) seemed ideal for the amateur, low budget labyrinth builder.

Not all the sections of mini fence survived various ravages of children’s play, so my labyrinth is depleted in scale. As those of you in Western Europe may have noticed, there’s been a bit of snow lately. This photo is from the thaw and the pristine whiteness is ruined by my mushy footprints and by some seeds out for the birds … but you get the idea:

10 random quotes from Wikiquote

An exercise in found juxtaposition – ten consecutive results of Wikiquote’s random quote feature.

On each page, I will select the quote that corresponds to which iteration I am on – ie the first on the first go, the second on the second go, the third on the third go, etc. If there aren’t enough quotes to pursue this I will use the final quote on the page:

1. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.

2. People who died could not come back to life, so guaranteeing the right to life should not be a thing of the future, but should be advancing right now.

3. To build matter itself from geometry — that in a sense is what string theory does. It can be thought of that way, especially in a theory like the heterotic string which is inherently a theory of gravity in which the particles of matter as well as the other forces of nature emerge in the same way that gravity emerges from geometry. Einstein would have been pleased with this, at least with the goal, if not the realization. … He would have liked the fact that there is an underlying geometrical principle — which, unfortunately, we don’t really yet understand.

4. Solomon Asch’s studies of independence and conformity are among the most significant in the history of psychology. They are models of rigorous analysis of a socially relevant question based on a well-controlled research design.

5. No pain, no gain.

6. Wow! I heard you were a bear. I just didn’t realize you’d look so much, uh, like a bear.

7. Somebody once said, ‘He’s never wrong about the future, but he does tend to be wrong about how long it takes.’

8. I believe that every erection is a miracle.

9. Crazy Shapiro: When I’m up on the roof, it’s like nothing can touch me. You know, it’s all so quiet and beautiful, with the whole city right out in front of my eyes. Some nights I just feel like painting a picture.
Vinnie: Hey, Norman Rockwell – paint me a picture.
Crazy Shapiro: I didn’t say I painted. I said I “felt like” like it.
Vinnie: Hey, there are over twenty million faggots in New York that “feel like it” — you wanna make it twenty million and one?

10. My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy. O son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.

From “Forgiveness”, by Herbert McCabe

From the sermon Forgiveness by Herbert McCabe:

It is very odd that people should think that when we do good God will reward us and when we do evil he will punish us. I mean it is very odd that Christians should think this, that God deals out to us what we deserve.

It is not, I suppose, really odd that other people should; I suppose it is the commonest way of thinking of God, for God tends to be just a great projection into the sky of our moral feelings, especially our guilt feelings. But I don’t believe in God if that’s what he is, and it is very odd that any Christian should, since there is so much in the gospels to tell us differently. You could say that the main theme of the preaching of Jesus is that God isn’t like that at all.Take the famous parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). In this, the younger son goes to a distant country far from his father and squanders all his father’s gifts in debauchery and generally having a high old time. After a bit he sees himself for what he is, so as to say, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”What his sin has done is to alter his whole relationship with his father; instead of being a son he now should be treated as one who gets his wages, gets exactly what he deserves. But there are two things here; there is the fact that this is what his sin has done, and there is the fact that he recognises this. To make sure you see that this is the crucial point of the story, Luke has it repeated twice. The vital thing is that the son has recognised his sin for what it is: something that changes God into a paymaster, or a judge.Sin is something that changes God into a projection of our guilt, so that we don’t see the real God at all; all we see is some kind of judge. God (the whole meaning and purpose and point of our existence) has become a condemnation of us. God has been turned into Satan, the accuser of man, the paymaster, the one who weighs our deeds and condemns us.It is very odd that so much casual Christian thinking should be a worship of Satan that we should think of the punitive satanic God as the only God available to the sinner. It is very odd that the view of God as seen from the Church should ever be simply the view of God as seen from hell. For damnation must be just being fixed in this illusion, stuck forever with the God of the Law, stuck forever with the God provided by our sin.

Pilgrimage to St Gobnait at Ballyvourney, Co. Cork

Happy to one and all – here is a post on Gobnait from Louise Nugent’s wonderful Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland blog!

Pilgrimage In Medieval Ireland

Saint Gobnait: first impressions

I first came across St Gobnait when I wandered in to the Honan Chapel  around 14 years ago.  The Honan chapel is  very  beautiful  church located on the campus of University College Cork. It has many splendid stained glass windows by Harry Clarke, who in my opinion was Ireland’s finest stain glass artist.

As I wandered around the chapel I looked up at one of the many windows which depicted various Irish saints and there was Gobnait. Her window is one of the most beautiful depictions of a saint I had ever seen. The window shows  Gobnait of Baile Bhúirne/Ballyvourney adorned in blue robes and surrounded by bees, at her feet  are two men with   fearful expressions.  My curiosity immediately demanded that I find out who this saint was, where she came from and most importantly what was the connection with the bees? Stain glass image of St Gobnait in the  Honan Chapel . Taken…

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A Guide to Nature

I am reblogging this from Miles Richardson’s Finding Nature blog. Miles is an applied psychologist researching nature connection. One recurrent theme of this research is that knowledge-based activity which focuses on “successful achievement” of, for instance, identification of birds, is not a good predictor of nature connection.

There is a place for knowledge – indeed, the attempt to identify, in my experience, is itself a form of pleasure and leads to a focused attention – but equally “not succeeding” (again in my experience) can lead to disappointment and a certain alienation from nature-based activity.

Anyway, here is a post with an intriguing literary idea…

Finding Nature

Nature is in decline and there is a need to promote a new relationship with the natural world. A closer relationship based on an emotional attachment where nature has meaning in our lives. Where we sense and appreciate nature’s everyday beauty. Where we develop a compassion for nature.

In Spring last year I was in a nature-based visitor center and was struck by the shelves full of guides to identifying nature. This promotes a certain type of relationship with the natural world. Yet, we know such knowledge of nature isn’t a pathway to connection and is a poor predictor of the pro-nature behaviours we desperately need. However knowledge based relationships with nature are the dominant relationships we promote. When designing a nature engagement experience (especially for children), many will ask about the learning outcomes. Why not learn to develop a closer bond with nature?

Nature connectedness describes an emotional relationship…

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