Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Trip to Sligo 5

Still in Coolaney. Coolaney Summer Festival, 23 July 2009 - 26 July 2009, is an annual fundraising event organised by Coolaney Development Company. Events include arts, music, sports and a celebration of Coolaney's rural heritage. This year's activities include a fun run, race night, children's day including a treasure hunt, playstation challenge and a puppet show. There will be on-street entertainment and live music and novelty events throughout the weekend.

The bardic poetry in the Book of O'Hara and similar collections are generally praise poems and genealogies for chieftains using well worn themes and common poetic styles.
Now and then a different note is struck as when Tadhg Dall O hUiginn (1550-1591), the well-know Sligo bardic poet, writes to O'Hara:

I am continually in the jaws of danger,
because of all the gossip that has been made about me,
having no one to protect me,
unless thou canst undertake it.

(Translation by Eleanor Knott.)

This was written towards the end of the sixteenth century when English influence and control was being extended over Connacht and chieftains like O'Hara and poets who depended on them were feeling very vulnerable.

Tadhg Dall is believed to have been killed in 1591 by a band of the O'Hara clan in revenge for a satire he wrote describing them as six greedy vagabonds who in return for his hospitality stole his milk. Satire can seriously damage your health!

You can read a literal translation of the satire here. A new translation might be an interesting challenge!

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