Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Poet's St. Patrick's Day

Meg Kearney, director of Pine Manor College and author of two collections of poetry, is also a contributor to the newly released BOOK OF IRISH AMERICAN POETRY: FROM THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT (U. Notre Dame Press). She'll join other contributors at the Concord Poetry Center at Emerson Umbrella, 40 Stow Street, Concord, MA, on St. Patrick's Day -- which is Saturday March 17 -- for an 8 p.m. reading. Kearney's web site also offers the tip that around 10 p.m., the second round of the evening begins at the local pub. Info, 978-897-0054 and

Then again, if you're up here in northern Vermont or upstate New York, it may be easier to just slip over to Burlington to catch a taste of the snow country's best Irish festival:

St. Patrick's Day Concert: Cherish the Ladies 8:00 p.m.
Once again the partnership of the UVM Lane Series, the Flynn Theatre and the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival present an evening of first-rate Irish talent. Over the past 16 years, the name of a time-honored Irish traditional jig has become equally well known as the name for one of the most engaging ensembles in Irish music-Cherish the Ladies. Five women with "a terrific sense of fun and heaps of music in their fingers and toes" (Glasgow Herald), Cherish the Ladies delight with their spectacular blend of beautiful vocals, virtuosic instrumental talents, and stunning step-dancing celebrating all aspects of Irish traditional culture. Enjoy Saint Patrick's Day with one of the most celebrated Irish-American groups in Celtic music history.
Location: Flynn Theatre, Main Street, Burlington, VT
Admission: Tickets start at $28.00 and can be purchased online here or by calling the Flynn Box Office at (802) 863-5966.

Finally, if you'd rather celebrate the Green Saturday snug on the couch, here's a reminder that one of the finest Irish American poets is up here in the Green Mountains: Greg Delanty. This poem is from his 1995 collection AMERICAN WAKE.

The Fifth Province

Meeting in a café, we shun the cliché of a pub.
Your sometime Jackeen accent is decaffed
like our coffee, insisting you're still a Dub.
You kid about being half & halfed.
The people populating your dreams are now
American, though the country they're set in
is always the Ireland within a soft Dublin.

In the country of sleep the voiceless citizens
trapped in my regime of dreams are Irish,
but they're all the unlikely green denizens
of an island that's as mysterious
as the volcano, bird or sheep islands
that Brendan with his homesick crew,
bound for the promised land, bumped into.

Last night I combed sleep's shore for its name.
A familiar adze-crowned man appeared
waving his crook's question mark, nursing a flame
on a hill and impatiently declaring in weird
pidgin Irish that the fifth province is
not Meath or the Hy Brasil of the mind.
It is this island where all exiles naturally land.

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