Friday, June 09, 2006


The Auraicept Na N-eces, is in the Book of Ballymote, a 15C Irish Manuscript. This trieste was translated by George Calder in 1917 or so and he gave it the title The Scholars Primer, but it's literal translation is along the lines of

The processes/methods/procedures/formula/way of doing/ of the knowing ones.

The Knowing Ones being the poets, or Fili, who at that point in history (15C) had evolved unbroken from druidic practice.

The Auraicept Na N-eces was a drawing together of all the compositional rules that existed in what were known as Bardic Schools, which ran in Ireland until the time Cromwell came and the British Monarchy's policy in Ireland turned to complete supression. And in the slaughter which ensued Ireland's unbroken cultural evolution of the previous 2000 years came to an abrupt end.

The trieste also charts the history of writing in Ireland, which was adopted by the Druid/Fili in a form called Ogham, which I will not go into here, save to say it appears to be an entirely rational, logical and mathmatical system, and out of this the Irish came to write in their own vernacular from the time they first decided to adopt writing.

Prior to this adoption in the 5-7C the sociey was ordered entirely orally, and so instead of the law being textual it was spoken.

If you get a baliff's letter today, the legal process occurs when you take physical possession of the document, but in Irish oral culture, the legal process occured when the poet spoke the judgement.

So Ireland found a way of writing in her own tongue, via the initial ogham script.

That's enough for today. I will let you have the poem tommorow. Tonight I must go see a few emerging poets read at a state sponsored do. The dual main realities behind this decision are to wallow in the word and avail of the free booze which, as Charlie himself would have known, is a very important function of most serious poets.

No comments: