Well, National Poetry Day in Ireland is not until April 30th, but we have this other holiday to celebrate in the meantime, and then a Hooley in Lockport’s West End the week after that, so I guess we can muddle by until then. Poetry books regularly rise to the top of the best seller lists in Ireland, it is very much a part of the culture—many’s the time we’ve been in a pub there and heard someone get the feeling and start reciting a favorite to everyone and no one.
Brendan Kennelly, who passed away in 2021, wrote many a fine poem, like this:
We Are Living
What is this room
But the moments we have lived in it?
When all due has been paid
To gods of wood and stone
And recognition has been made
Of those who’ll breathe here when we are gone
Does it not take its worth from us
Who made it because we were here?
Your words are the only furniture I can remember
Your body the book that told me most.
If this room has a ghost
It will be your laughter in the frank dark
Revealing the world as a room
Loved only for those moments when
We touched the purely human.
I could give water now to thirsty plants,
Dig up the floorboards, the foundation,
Study the worm’s confidence,
Challenge his omnipotence
Because my blind eyes have seen through walls
That make safe prisons of the days.
We are living
In ceiling, floor and windows,
We are given to where we have been.
This white door will always open
On what our hands have touched,
Our eyes have seen.
So, come join us for a pint or two, some food, a bag of Taytos, and maybe read a poem, we have some books lying about. We’ll have Irish music of various flavors on the jukebox as well, at least until Sappy starts playing “Must Be the Whiskey.”
Dublin Coddle – Irish sausage and potato stew, w/Oatmeal soda bread – $10
Cabbage w/nutmeg – $3/$5
Irish toasties – Oatmeal soda bread w/broiled cheese – $3/$5
Navigator shots – $4 (Jameson in an Irish Cream Stout) in honor of all the navigators who built the Erie Canal
Green Tea or Irish Whiskey – shots $3
Magner’s, Smithwicks, Southern Tier Irish Cream Stout – $4