Friday, February 16, 2018

Cheers Ears

I attended last evening for the very first time a unique, cererbally empowering, spiritually uplifting, and poetically prestigious live event, at the recently obtained premier bardic home for the people of the goddess Art. The Poetry Ireland Literary Palace on Parnell Square, whose talking participants were introduced to an all but full public room by its Director Maureen Kennelly.

Who in the name of Banbha, Fodla and Eiru's people has been appointed the poetic guardian tasked with leading the collaborative creative turning of this elegant property into a stately home fit for the 21C cultural purpose and possession of the ancient Irish artistically aristocratic 'noble brew in which is boiled / the true root of all knowledge / which bestows after duty / which is climbed after diligence / which poetic ecstasy sets in motion / which joy turns / which is revealed through sorrow'; and that the unimprovable original druidic voice speaking 7C Milesian poet Amergin's Literary Ars poetica, that was only first translated into English in 1978, informs us, 'is lasting power / undiminishing protection'.

The ninety minute evening of readings and discussion, Arguing with Edmund Spenser in Contemporary Irish Poetry, was a collaborative event organised by The School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing, University College Dublin, and Poetry Ireland.

Five poets who'd been "thinking and arguing with Spenser in their recent work" gave a collectively virtuoso performance that made this event a homely yet seriously scholarly and culturally warm occasion that cost those attending precisely nothing but our time, travel, ears, eyes, and which suitably edified and entertained our minds with the imaginations of five of Ireland's premier poetry practitioners performing in letters and live spoken language at the very highest level.

John McAuliffe, Trevor Joyce, Leanne O'Sullivan, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and the current Ireland Professor of Poetry, Ard Ollamh Eireann, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.


St. Helens, Lancastrian born, Kerry raised Irish language poet, Ard Ollamh Eireann (2001-4), Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, gave the first reading of her mythic poetry written in response to Spenser at an event curated by the UCG educated poet-critic, Manchester University Creative Centre for New Writing co-director, John McAuliffe.

Ní Dhomhnaill poignantly explained how it was very challenging, and all but impossible to intellectually reconcile the finely crafted airy lines of praise in the Faerie Queene-- that she first read by the sea near Smerwick on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry --with what Spenser witnessed and was complicit in, in his official capacity as Secretary to Lord Grey. The genocidal act of the Smerwick Massacre, conducted by the hands of Walter Raleigh leading the decapitation of eight hundred possibly press-ganged Italian and Spanish papal soldiers; which Spenser described as the 'rough work' of his fellow courtier poet.

McAuliffe's ten minute Introduction to the event set the scene and provided context to Spenser's role as a literary propagandist and Crown administrator divvying up and parceling out the former final earl Gerald Desmond's escheated half a million acres to loyal Elizabethan English and Anglo-Irish tenants, and those literary and martial Elizabethan courtiers who had successfully hunted down, crushed, defeated, and brought to an end three and a half centuries of Hiberno-Norman Geraldine governance in Munster by decapitating the head from the House of Desmond and its lineage of four barons and fifteen earls.

Next up was Trevor Joyce whose texts were a variation of the write-thru form. Where the literary experimentalist takes one text, chops, cuts, and reconfigures it into another text.

A form of turbo-charged and very complex creatively conducted Found Poetry oneself began practicing in 2004 in my final year at university, using Sylvia Plath's father poem Colossus. And since that time one's regular experimental literary acts of write-thru have evolved into the fairly fluidly oiled process and practice it is today.

Write-thru is a form not many practise in because it is a fairly challenging form that takes a lot of intellectual and creative effort. Most published poetry is personal lyric of the minor and major epiphany, and Joyce, one of Ireland's premier modernist poets, is in one sense working in resistance to this tradition by drawing his literary inspiration from and following in the experimental footsteps of the 1930s Irish modernist poets such as fellow Dubliner, Samuel Beckett, career diplomat, Denis Devlin, and European intellectual and Advent Publisher, Brian Coffey. The latter two practices for the bulk of the time they were living were in the main airily waved away in silent dismissal as culturally irrelevant by the less fully realised supposedly leading poetic lights of immediate post-Yeatsean bubbaling tewn.

In which his many admirers stepped into the absence of a living cynosure and arrogated its afterglow to themselves as his enemies, flunkies, friends and many competing literary custodians. The retrospective elevation into the first order of the Irish literary canon and retroactive acknowledgement of their contribution to Irish letters by later generations of golden circle ollúna under the wise and humane spiritual guidance of the Bellaghy bard, is, perhaps, a source of grim satisfaction for some of the Poundian inspired literary crazees.

Devlin and Coffey's treatment by the state-sanctioned and subsidized Official Verse Culture mob in Dublin, as it was with Kavanagh, it is now generally agreed, constituted the many petty and mean-spirited acts of negligence by omission at the time by a ruthlessly lesser talented and less visionary 'Yeatsean' careerist crowd who traded on Silly's name to boost their own published efforts as Friends of Famous Mister Coole Dublin Sligo London dreamer.

Dubliner Joyce recited what for oneself personally was the most interesting piece of the evening. Made up entirely of one syllable words cut from what is generally considered to be Spenser's crowning achievement, Mutability Cantos, and recast by the arch modernist as a write-thru.

And one from his book of most recently published experimental poems that Joyce describes in the subtitle of this latest collection, Fastness, as being: "A Translation from the English of Edmund Spenser"; which is at once both modern and ancient. The hypnotic effect of the one syllable pitched perfect oral flow was startling in its originality. Joyce spoke of his process of casting these literary and linguistically innovative experiments and write-thru poems, in a very illuminating manner.

He talked of 'stripping out' all the four and five syllable words of Latin and Greek gods and goddesses, and getting down to the linguistic hardcore and foundation of Spenser's poetry and intellect. Very much a make-over expert taking the words of one text, changing it into another, and in the process making the finished product the experimentalist's own voice.

The protean nature of language is what, as I heard it, interests Joyce. The fleetingness of thought, ideas, and very much an intellectual approach, balanced by a long and established practical understanding of the basics of spiritual reality due to his life-long love of language which is the vehicle for spiritual expression we all share.

Joyce said that prior to his dive into Spenser he was not at all a fan of his poetry (I think the word 'loathed' may have been uttered); not least because Spenser is a very divisive figure due to his role as the founding voice of Elizabethan lyric propaganda, at Ireland's tragically sorrowful cultural expense. But after working on the write-thrus Joyce began to appreciate Spenser's gift with language, and came to understand the poet and separate him from 'the bad man'.

'He was a good poet but a bad man', was the succinct and perfect summation spoken by the always interesting and prodigiously gifted, humble, modest and wise current Ard Ollamh Eireann, Ireland Professor of Poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.

Whose ability to cast a cold eye across his poetry and separate it from the barbarous acts Spenser was active and complicit in as one of the most ruthless Elizabethan toadies of his time, dissolved one's own dilemma of this poet with culturally oppressive proximity to one's own paternal name and (the family yarn spins) lineage of Desmond.

And for this I am eternally grateful I attended this ninety minute event of readings and panel discussion on this reviled and polarizing figure in Irish culture and its poetry.

The Trinity high priestess of Desmond Munster English said she had heard this from another academic. And this simple calmly rendered statement of reality allows the Irish writer a permission to begin investigating the poetry of Spenser with a sense of emotional detachment and intellectual balance by examining and appreciating the craft of poetry without being cluttered up and put critically off kilter by the hate-filled genocidal composition of his most humanly evil publication too incendiary to publish during his own lifetime, A View of the present State of Ireland.

A truly evil text composed by an inferiority-ridden then modern contemporary Elizabethan poet who had been born to a low station and with the barest of authentic poetry tradition to draw and learn literate nobility from. And with no real spiritually noble aristocratic class or humanly positive qualities.

A mind filled only with the desires, whims, and jealousies of a ruthlessly heartless and wicked supremely selfish uncaring Tudor courtier and astonishingly flawed human being. The word-work of a homicidal psychopathic cowardly bully and what is called by working-class London English people, a no good wrong 'un. A truly bad example passionately advocating in his vile doggerel for the violent extermination of the Irish people and culture. Rendered by this arch cruel and conspicuously envious man who exercised his gift in language to a very fluent degree, as 'the pacifying of Ireland'.

But only, of course, the delusional monarchical mind of this mentally ill madman argues, should its people not cease speaking Gaelic, wearing Irish dress, stop conducting themselves in their millennia old ancient and noble Irish cultural habits; and become English themselves.

I may have the order wrong but next up, I think, was Leanne O'Sullivan, who came to Spenser via her husband, Spenserian scholar and Medieval and Renaissance specialist in the UCC English Department, Dr. Andrew King.

Her response to Spenser was a smoothly eloquent and innately poetically gracious flowing lyric poem in which a third person narrator muses on the art of scholarly endeavor via the form of a character composed by the narrator as a literary errand boy and scribal assistant moving among and around to and from books and manuscripts as O'Sullivan's arch bandraoi voice sculpted by the mythic reality of sand sea sky and stone transports the listening Reader to faeryland with her otherworldly O'Sullivan Beara spirituality rooted and sourced in the ancient Cashel Eóganachta nobility of magical memorial Milesian mouth-music originating in what became the Gaelic Irish and Kerry Cork Kingdom of Desmond.

The culturally poetic force of mystic language Nollaig Ó Muraíle suggests has an etymological connection to the Kerry dialect word béarach, béar[r]a that refers to "rocks on the seashore against which the sea breaks with great force."

The first of the three O'Sullivan readings I have attended was the 2004 launch of her debut Waiting For My Clothes, and four Bloodaxe collections later she has fulfilled the early promise of a fully rounded innately perfected wild mythic imagination that made such a global splash when she turned up a shy and artistic teenager to a local poetry workshop in Cork composed of vacationing American MFA students, hosted by visiting poetry professor and high priest of witty sardonic and dry poetic American modernism, Billy Collins.

Who spotted her natural and prodigious gift for literary speech that eventful day and from this chance encounter attained her potential early on after a rocky teenage start to become Ireland's premier Munster poet of her generation.

John McAuliffe, one of Ireland's most contemporaneously significant and publicly visible poet-critics, had as the subject for his poem his first visit to the ruins of Kilcolman castle, where Spenser had written The Faerie Queene, and that was a Geraldine castle of Desmond's Spenser ended up with the possession of, along with three thousand surrounding acres, after the final fifteenth earl Gerald Desmond's half a million Munster acres, castles and estates were escheated and divvied up by Spenser as a Crown servant and secretarial agent tasked with the orderly transition to the highest bidders of the Geraldine properties, spoils and wealth acquired by violence and mass murder.

McAuliffe's lyrical investigation and literary wrestle with the ghost, contrasted the ruined castle with the grandeur of the Spenserian stanzas that served as the Merchant Taylor scholarship pupil's then contemporary formally experimental cutting edge Elizabethan amateur's rough-work and loose less evolved English language parallel to an expansively more metrically sophisticated anamain praise poetry composed in the strict-straight Dán Díreach verse-form. That was the the first class superlative poetic state and reserve signature form of the apical grade of the seven degrees of wisdom in the Gaelic literary tradition, the ollúna/poetry professors.

As we learn from the great 19C Kilkenny Irish language scholar, John O'Donovan, the formal complexity of the Dán Díreach verse form makes the metrical sophistication of the experimentalist Spenser's poetry by comparison appear as challenging to compose as a limerick, nursery rhyme, or doggerel.

Such was its acoustic and literary complexity that the student poet was trained up in two looser forms. A beginner's imitative potty-training Oglachas form that a student poet began playing with letters and practising in; in which most of the formally exacting and mindbogglingly precise metrical rules of the Dán Díreach verse forms were left out; before getting handier and graduating to the water-wing and stabilizer Bruilingeacht form.

In which more of the metrical rules of the Dán Díreach verse forms were introduced and gradually applied, until by the transition from the eleventh to twelfth year the nearly qualified poetry professor was applying the seven and eight requisites of strict straight Dán Díreach verse we learn of in Part IV Chapter Two of O'Donovan's A Grammar of the Irish Language (1845), Of Versification: "viz., 

1st, a certain number of syllables in each line.

2nd, four lines in each quatrain.

3rd, Concord/Alliteration/Uaim is of two kinds, proper and improper. The former, called Fior-uaim, is where the last two words of a line begin with a vowel or the same consonant... The Improper Concord is when the words so beginning are not the last two in the line. 

But here note, that what the ancient Irish called an Iarmbearla, i.e. the article, possessive pronoun, adverb, preposition, or conjunction, coming between any two words, neither forms nor hinders a concord. The proper concord can be used for the improper, and vice versa, in every line except the third and fourth, in which the proper concord is indispensably necessary.

4th, Correspondence/Comharda. This has some resemblance to rhyme, but it does not require the corresponding syllables to have the same termination as in English rhyme. Correspondence is of two kinds, perfect and broken. Perfect correspondence, which is sometimes equal to perfect rhyme in English, consists in the agreement of two words, the last in two lines of poetry, in vowels and consonants of the same class. 

Broken, or imperfect, correspondence is the agreement of two words, the last in two lines of poetry, in vowels only, without any regard to consonants.

5th, Termination/Rinn, requires that the last word in the second and fourth lines of a quatrain should exceed that of the first and third by one syllable.

6th, Union or Uaithne, is nearly the same with Correspondence, except that the same vowels are not required in each place; and, in polysyllables, it is only necessary that they agree in class, as abba, biobba; imne, doimne, opmaille, reanpoige; but the nearer they agree the better. A syllable, however, with a broad vowel cannot form a union with one having a small vowel.

7th, Head or ceann, is the monosyllabic word which concludes the second and fourth lines of a quatrain in that kind of verse called Seadna.". "To these may be added an eighth, not because it is always necessary, but because it is often used, namely, Urlann, of which we shall speak in its proper place.

8th, Another requisite of in Dan Direach is that called Amus. It is nearly the same as an imperfect correspondence, except that it requires an equal number of syllables in the words which correspond.

The principal species of Dan Direach verse chiefly in use among the Irish poets are the five following, namely, Deibhidhe, Seadna, Rannaigheacht mhor, Rannaigheacht bheag, and Casbhairn

Deibhidhe. The principal requisites which distinguish this kind of verse from others is, that the first and third line of each quatrain end with a minor termination, and the second and fourth with a major termination. It requires also seven syllables in each line, with correspondence concord, and union, which must all be perfect in the last couplet."

And O'Donovan carries on as you can read at the link, listing the full complexity and intellectual beauty of these metres that Spenser not having Gaelic viewed in his barbarous unsophisticated mind as the work of uncouth, unlearned uncivilised rhymers with no class and speaking a language he only wanted to exterminate and render into silence. 

There can be no rehabilitation into the Irish canon of this doggerelist's evil infantile and wholly anti-human view that the literary utterances of the finest most sophisticated language experts to have ever written, with a thousand year history and ancient authentic local native tradition, sourced in the pool of living druidic speech - were a doggerelistic product of the monstrous minds of barely thinking rude crude illiterate Irish simpletons. 

This mind may have a few stray lines of beauty but they are between masses of plodding uninventive utterly unimpressive tin-eared propaganda written solely to boast, prance, wheedle, flatter, and obsequiously toady in the service of himself alone and no other. He cared not for any earthly queene, he dreamt only of powerful riches and vast material wealth and would lie, cheat, steal and have others kill on his order, to secure what he wanted for himself alone.  

And as we know from George Calder's translation of the list of requirements for each grade in the four 7C books and grammatical texts which make up the Auraicept na n-Éces, literally, Precepts of Poetry, aka Scholars Primer, and Handbook of the Learned, and the technical training manual of the twelve year Gaelic poet-training programme - the writing of twenty anamain praise poems in the highly creatively complex and immensely intellectually challenging strict straight Dán Díreach verse forms was a requirement of learning in the penultimate eleventh year of study.

It could be the major or minor variety, anamain mór or anamain becc; with four divisions of anamain mór, Nath, the Anair, Laidh, and Eman.

And at which point the nearly poetry professor had one more year, and after performing a learning requirement of the Four Feats of Ladchend mic Bairchida, Chota, Bicni, and Béci; became qualified on the twelve year curriculum and had finally after a long creative and intellectually joyous literary route attained the apical grade and appellation of ollamh/poetry professor described in the annals as: 'A great sage then, s/he does not apologize for their ignorance of anything in the four divisions of learnedness (Gaelic, History, Latin and Poetry)'.

The Irish language poet and Ard Ollamh Eireann (2001-4), Ní Dhomhnaill, seemed most of the five poets reading the one for whom the living Gaelic language folk memory of 'the bad man' was of such cultural potency and phantasmagorical strength that she came across as the one least willing of the five talking participants to completely abandon all cultural reserve and join in the fun of acknowledging the well-wrought craft and praising the poetry of this contentious figure surpassed in the centuries long and ancient historical Irish memory only by figures such as Cromwell.

She said that in her opinion Spenser's low opinion of Irish literary Filidh poets was the result of his 'jealousy' of them. Which I would tend to agree with. He had no Gaelic and the genocidal way in which he wrote about Irish culture would tend to more than suggest the mind of this uncommonly unaristocratic low birthed talented scholarship boy and later man was one driven by an inferiority complex, greed, jealousy, hatred, and an ability to ignore any act of barbarism in the pursuit of personal material profit and his own social elevation by any means to the aristocratic status he was cravenly obsessed with and his entire life was a testament to and his writings the living literary proof of. 

One of the most qualified repositories of the entire unadulterated cultural arc and sweep of history contained in the living Gaelic language; Ní Dhomhnaill, punctuated the air of good-natured frivolity on the professorially detached four-fifths academic panel of poetry professionals by delivering a timely bardic reminder in her recounting of the local Kerry and Desmond South Munster folk memory that was proven true when during an archeological dig, she said, I think, in the 1980s, a corner of some domestic field known locally for generations as 'field of the heads', was found to contain a mass of sixteenth century people's severed heads.

The pieced together facts from the few that were ever recorded, and certainly not publicised, 'rough work' being all Spenser committed to print, and Grey himself boasting to his queen he had "Then put .. in certain bands, who straight fell to execution. There were six hundred slain", tell far less the true gruesomeness of what occurred than the physical proof which turned up in the corner of this Kerry field close to the site of the Smerwick Massacre.

The final poet to read her work was the current High Poet and her scholarly anecdotes imbued the occasion with a wit and wisdom of the very highest intellectual order which crowned and completed an extraordinary evening in the Poetry Palace on Parnell Square.

Blessed by the bardic history one thousand years in living existential print, and the Irish titans of global literature. The officially noble laureates Beckett, Bernard Shaw, Heaney and Yeats. Not to mention the unofficial modernist noble laureate Joyce. And a very long list of the world's premier literary poetic practitioners and people of the goddess Art in the home of scholarly European letters with a living connection to the birth of Gaelic writing in the Ogham aka Celtic Tree Alphabet.

Ní Chuilleanáin's prayerful praising of our collective faery woman of this island O Ireland of memory and mouth-music;- was a tour de force in how to do it and one felt truly blessed to have been privileged to hear, witness and be a silent cerebrally joyful participant in such a memorable event as I left for the first of what one hopes will be many more at Ireland's premier home place and Poetry Palace fit for the world's best spoken bardic matter and literary filiocht we the public witnesses there have been presented for free by the cultural magic of this island's ancient druidic goddess of the kind maternal timeless ever present warm witty wise, in triplicate, living literary feminine love spiritually all Her.

McAuliffe was not so much attempting to rehabilitate Spenser as have a mature dispassionate look at the language of this 'good poet' in a playfully mature Argument five centuries after the butchery and mass murder this arch 'bad man' was witness to, complicit in, and glossed over in virtual silence. Challenging instead the phantasmagoria of what he had taken part in and witnessed, thru the mutable lens and redemptive process of Poetry.

Thanks very much to Director Kennelly, Publications Manager Paul Lenehan, Education Officer Jane O'Hanlon, Communications Manager Muireann Sheahan, and someone whose name I don't know, who opened the door, a very smiley lovely person. It has been amazing fun and I cannot wait for the honor and privilege of serving once again as witness to another event at the Peoples' Poetry Ireland Literary home there in the heart of this thing of deep cultural joy and profound poetic love.

Here's to all the hard-working staff and literary lovers at Poetry Ireland and UCD for making a major psychological event of minor personal epiphany such a rewarding spiritually beautiful and lofty thing.

And hopefully much more of the experimental English language anamain prose-poetry. Slainte.

Grá agus síocháin

Kevin Desmond

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Arguing with Edmund Spenser

Originally published in the Discussion section on a Poetry Ireland Facebook Event: Arguing with Edmund Spenser in Contemporary Irish Poetry, on 15th February 2018, at which The School of English, Drama, Film and Creative Writing, University College Dublin and Poetry Ireland host readings and a discussion panel of "five poets who have been thinking and arguing with Spenser in their recent work": John McAuliffe; current Ireland Professor of Poetry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin; Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Ireland Professor of Poetry 2001-2004; Trevor Joyce, and  Leanne O'Sullivan.


One's own paternal Hiberno-Norman family name of Desmond (Swords being my mother's nee name) as well as being on the receiving end of injustice was responsible for great oppression, mass murder, vast social sorrow, a one in a millennial cultural upheaval, violent wickedness, abject wrongs; and the occasional just and wise royal personage whose reigns of hereditary governance in Desmond/South Munster were culturally positive ruling influences in Medieval Ireland prior to the family's destruction and physical eradication at the hands of courtiers and poets from Liz 1's mercenary band of mass murderers killing for cash castles booty and the escheated estates of Irish earls.

Among whose number were Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser, who ended up with Desmond's castle in Kilcolman, where he wrote The Fairie Queene and his call for genocide on the Irish people, A View of the Present State of Ireland.

Spenser was the literary propagandist of the courtier-poet mercenaries that had been sent to Ireland specifically to hunt down and bring to heel the last of our family's Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond, who spent three years an outlaw in the Kingdom of Desmond after being declared on Samhain, 1 November 1579, a traitor to her maj's cause of world domination, by Sir William Pelham, at the start of the Second Desmond Rebellion (1579-83).

Desmond's hereditary enemy, his step-son, "Black Tom", Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, a much favoured and staunch ally from childhood of Elizabeth I, was refusing to settle local disputes with his deceased mother's third husband and Desmond foe using Brehon law, as the two families had traditionally done since the literary Filí poet and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (1367), Gerald FitzGerald, 3rd Earl of Desmond's time. He had offered during the first Desmond Rebellion (1569–1573), a £1000 alive £500 dead head-price on Gerald. An offer he re-advertised in June 1583 close to the end of the Second Desmond Rebellion.


Five months later, Gerald with his few remaining kern raided and made off with forty cows and nine horses from Maurice MacOwen, who sent word to his brothers in law, Owen and Donnell, chiefs of the clan Moriarty, who tracked him to a cabin in the wooded fastness of Glenagenty, five miles east of Tralee, and organized an ambush.

At dawn they bust in the door and all escaped but the old man, a woman, and boy; and Daniel O'Kelly, a Kerry kern killing in the name of the clan Moriarty; struck a blow with his sword and half severed an arm on the old man, who cried out: "I am the Earl of Desmond: spare my life".

A second blow took off an ear, and carrying Desmond some short distance from the cabin, at the urging of Moriarty, apprehensive of any surprise engagement with what few of Desmond supporters remained, O'Kelly ended the earl's life, hacked off his head, and, according to his first biographer, a son of the final loyal
Ó Dálaigh Fili from a heriditary literary lineage that served for three centuries as the Geraldines' praise poets, Dominican priest, Rosario O'Daly, confessor to the Queen of Portugal, and founder and Vicar-general of the Irish convent of the Dominican order in Lisbon; Gerald's "corpse was thrown on the highway as food for birds and beasts."

Traditional folk lore marks the spot of an oak tree near where his body was dumped and shortly after retrieved by some supporters, Bóthar an Iarla. And this skull of our forebear's Fitzgerald blood got pickled, placed in a pipkin, and gifted to Liz in London by Butler, with a note addressed to Secretary of State Walshingham, stating: "I do send her Highness (for proof of the good success of the-service and the happy end thereof) by this bearer, the principal traitor Desmond's head, as the best token of the same, and proof of my faithful service and travail; whereas her charges may be diminished, as to her princely pleasure shall be though meet."

There were public events to celebrate Desmond's death organized in Cork in January 1584, and municipal celebrations
in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford for the rebel earl's demise and Her Majesty the Queen and England's great victory.

The decapitated head was spiked on London Bridge as an imperial statement and very effective deterrent to other would be rebels. If the mighty Royal European Ingens Rebellibus Exemplar Earl of Desmond family's head can end up an acorn on Liz 1's nut necklace, ending a line of four barons and fifteen earls that were the most powerful branch (the other being the surviving Earls of Kildare FitzGeralds) of the Hiberno-Norman FitzGerald family in Ireland for 350 years; then whose cudnt?

The 500,000 escheated Desmond acres were divied up into the Plantation of Munster by Liz 1's mercenary mass-murdering male servants, and, rewarded for his role as chief imperial propagandist, one of the Desmond castles and a 3000 acre estate at Kilcolman fell into the possession of The Faerie Queene author, and ultimate nouveau poet toady, Edmund Spenser.

Where the classic imitative rhyme scheme and form that bore his name was invented, birthing on one of Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond's family estates the epic allusive Fairie Queene idyll in Spenserian stanza. The distinctively mongrel metrical-hybrid English cross-breed form of rhyme royal and ottava rima, ababbcbcc; eight iambic pentameter lines followed by a single 'alexandrine' line of iambic hexameter.

Spenser came to Ireland in July 1580 as secretary to newly appointed Lord Deputy, Arthur, 14th Baron Grey de Wilton's mission of taking out Desmond.

He was present at the Seige of Smerwick mass-murder of 600-800 papal soldiers in Dún an Óir ('Fort of the Gold'), an Iron age Promontory fort located near Smerwick harbour; that Walter Raleigh was the cheery organiser of under the direction of Grey, who wrote in his despatch to the culturally warm and lovely Liz in London: "Then put I in certain bands, who straight fell to execution. There were six hundred slain", and adding magnanimously: "Those that I gave life unto, I have bestowed upon the captains and gentlemen that hath well deserved..."


Three other contemporaneous accounts contradict Grey's version of how kindly the survivors were treated. According to O'Daly, O'Sullivan Beare and Russell, the less than benevolent Baron Grey promised the papal garrison in the ancient thousands of years old stone fort he would spare their lives if they surrendered and then double-crossed them. Remembered in the term "Grey's faith."

The 'papal soldiers' contemptuously described by Bingham as ‘poor simple bisognos, very ragged, and a great part of them boys’, were in all probability only rudimentary unwanted waifs and strays and economic undesirables rounded up by a local papal press-gang in Galicia, promised all kinds of swag and booty that awaited them in an easy fight, and shipped to Ireland as a perfect way of getting rid of poor and property-less single male migrants.

After several days from 7th-9th November 1580, the woefully untrained 'very ragged' 'boys' realised what they were up against in a two-pronged pounding from both musket shot and cannon on the crumbling fort by Grey from land and three ships at sea under the command of Bingham.

And after their most effective canon was eliminated from the action, and with Desmond's mythical 4000 troops failing to materialize after the besieged force replaced the Pope's banner with the unfurling of a black and white flag as a signal to him of their distress and call for assistance; the second in command of the by now crushed forces, Captain Alessandro Bertone of Faenza, "at last .. hoisted a sheet, with cries of Misericordia [mercy], and craved a parley" with Grey.

Sebastian de San Joseph, the commander of the continental adventurers, negotiated with Grey, claiming that the Spaniards and Italians had not been sent to wage war on behalf of any King, but been lured to Ireland by false representations by Recalde, the governor of Bilbao, informing Grey through the interpreter, Dr. Oliver Plunkett, that they had been sent solely to defend the Catholic faith on behalf of the Pope, that they had no quarrel with Queen Elizabeth, and, as honorable soldiers where willing to abide by the rules of war, leave the battlefied and depart as they had come.

Depending on what and whose version (if any) of this crucial episode in Irish history one chooses to accept, Grey responded either by resolutely refusing all conditions of surrender to the besieged force and only agreed "that they should render the fort to me and yield their selves to my will for life or death", voicing in true Puritan style that his Holiness was "a detestable shaveling, the right Antichrist and general ambitious tyrant over all right principalities, and patron of the diabolical faith"; or he double-crossed them after promising to spare their lives and treat them honourably according to the rules of war. As historian Alfred O'Rahilly contends in a 1938 thesis; possibly with the connivance of San Joseph who agreed to sell out those beneath him for his own and fourteen others freedom.

The Siege and Massacre at Smerwick was part of a wider European Geo-political Religious fight between Spain and England. And a cut-price disastrously uncoordinated toss into the sea of six hundred desperate young migrants, thrown from the streets of the continent into a revolting Ireland at the start of the Second Desmond Rebellion. On a gamble that their arrival created a plosive military momentum that would tip the martial scales, draw forces away from the main theater of war between Spain and England, and fatally weaken, wound and then defeat England's most historically prestigious monarch to give the Catholic Church the prize of that blessed plot, precious realm, little defensive moat of men that Nature set against a scepter'd stone.

Fifteen professional soldiers who could afford it were offered life in exchange for being ransomed and renouncing their Catholic faith, and thus spared the fate of the six to eight hundred penniless frightened economic migrants who were methodically decapitated by the poet Walter Raleigh and their bodies tossed into the sea by his merry helpers. Those who refused suffered the same fate as the interpreter Dr. Plunkett, Laurence Moore, and William Walsh, for refusing to acknowledge the religious supremacy of Liz 1, and: "On refusal, their arms and legs were broken in three places by an iron-smith. They were left in agony for a day and night and then hanged."

His prominent role in this massacre became a criminal charge for which he was convicted in one of Raleigh's trials, at which he argued he was "obliged to obey the commands of his superior officer".

As Seamus Heaney pointed out in his 1993 Pratt Lecture and essay published in the critical collection The Redress of Poetry: Extending the Alphabet: On Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander; the author of The Faire Queene obliquely referred to the mass-murder of six to eight hundred mostly poor and press-ganged economic migrants in the old Spenser Handbook, writing that Raleigh 'had done rough work for Lord Grey'.

Spenser lived a decade and a half in the old family's former property, and left without packing when it was razed by arson several years before the end of the Nine Years War by the forces of the final O'Neil Mór and second Earl of Tyrone, Hugh O'Neill. With Ben Jonson, asserting that one of Spenser's infant children perished in the blaze. In 1599 aged 46 he returned to London, and died that year, according to one of Johnson's more unprovable claims, "for want of bread".

Buried by other rhymers in Poets' Corner; poems and pens were ritualistically dropped into the grave. His sister, Sarah, who had gone to Ireland with her brother the poet, married into a family of wealthy Cork landowners, the Travers, and the poet's sister's Travers descendants were for centuries prominent local Cork figures.

A forced exit from what had become for him at the end a land cursed by the indescribably tragic spirits of the FitzGerald Desmonds he played a minor secretarial role in extinguishing, burying into silence with powerful propaganda for the past half-millennia the true nobility of spirit speaking back now in the lawful learned laughing warm authentic voice of the only loving earthly son of our FitzGerald Desmond Swords' familial faerie Queen up above in heaven. And, perhaps signalling the onset of some music of magic and memory making start a song at the beginning of the end of an entire royal courtier-poet role-model, at risk of being consigned, unwittingly perhaps, to contemporary irrelevance, I'm afraid.

Perhaps the most egregious intellectually evil literary creation Spenser composed in one's male ancestral family home, is his vile genocidal call for the extermination of the Irish race and culture, that appears in his most humanly evil text, A View of the Present State of Ireland.

In which he argues for what he chillingly refers to as the 'pacifying' of Ireland. Orwellian double speak for the physical extermination of Her people. But only of course, the mentally ill monarchical madman argued, if they refused to stop speaking Gaelic, wearing Irish dress, and engaging in Irish habits. An arch courtier toady propagandist's most dangerous, dark and disturbing thoughts, far too inflammatory to publish until long after his death, in the 17C. When his suggestions about how to enact official policy for exterminating Irish people and Her culture were more acceptable to voice and were enacted in the Penal Laws that outlawed Gaelic culture in Ireland.

In a similar vein intellectually, I always thought, as Ezra Pound argued his mad dog-shite three and a half centuries later. And a trace chic retro-cool soupcon of it in the aristocratic star at the start of last month's episode of Britain's Baddest Bardic Bidjaz; yo! Oxbreligious Trinity slammer and literary mawjastactic vulgarian Well Hard Rebecca Watts, showing the earliest mental signs of it in her intellectual assassination attempt on the reputation of the genuinely modest and very talented lovely human being and poet Hollie McNish, in an article
titled The Cult of the Noble Amateur, published in the most recent issue of Carcanet's Poetry Nation Review (Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018).

Wholly opposite in sentiment to The Fairie Queene with its extolling over VI Books virtues that are a "feature" solely of "the nobly born"; such as Holiness Temperance Chastity Justice and Courtesy.

In which the Redcross Knight and chaste fair Lady Una have jolly adventures with dragons, wizards, giants, ogres, and saintly goodly noble brave Sirs rescue virgins from the clutches of evil sorcerers, battle on the side of goodness whilst facing constant bombardment of sexual propositions from fetishized one dimensional phony wicked fantasy females crazed with lust for noble English aristocrats. Nymphomaniacs rescued and driven to suicide when rebuffed by brave Sirs with the sacred jizz of nobility. And with only an elite special, chaste, holy, just, aristocratic people born to spurt that spirit, they wisely fall in love and marry lucky beautiful virgins.

As Spencer told in the letter to his old captain and expert in mass-murderer's 'rough work', Raleigh, published with the first three books: "the general end of the book is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline."

Kevin FitzGerald Desmond.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Collective Noun For Poets

 A Pretension of Poets, 'Pomposity of Poets', 'Snobbery of Poets', 'A Conceit of Poets'.

And look, look, there they are, the Charade of Poets, in our all knowing airs, grace and favors, dispensing Justice from on high, our rare spun thoughts, control of mind, our fabulous flowing feints and weaves, our immensely sharp eyes and perfectly tuned ears ...

... hearing every air-cut sound, half, a quarter, eighth, sixteenth of a foot; one imperceptibly weighted thud put in place the lid on the box of a poem clicking shut ...

... objects that self-sustaining create for its own meaning and merit, impact, fallout, and socio-cultural relevance. Each and every voice unique and individual in the community of prospects and contenders for the highest role of mother, Muse, memory and mouth-music's loving literary breath.

In eloquent and spontaneous recondite lines stretched upon the page of reality and there laid out for whatever welcoming warm within we've always wanted to stage and now found with our magical matter inside, speaking silently their voices' aural phantasmagoria ...

... makey uppy owt'll do, lingo this 'n' pirate tha' hooayiz howaye ya'll bae yous yiz ye and yoll, di 'Parade of Poets', tha dirren even kno' ih. Imbas forosnai...

... Good luck.

Goddess bless these poets then, they'll never stack a haggard with their breath, but sing s/he will the mind that has no gender and is without sex; only the ghostly phantom ancestors' pyramid of flesh life lit; that lived, loved and now are dead to all but you that dwell atop their living spirit cherishing all their silent voices and your ancestral breath drawn without by s/he the otherworldly will alone upon Her throne listening in the quiet of the moonbeams, to that voice from the world of women.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Response to Fred Hoffman

On Rory Waterman's Facebook, in response to Monday, February 05, 2018 blog, Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to 'prompt conversation':

Fred Hoffman: This is like criticism generated by a bot to sound authentic but be absolutely meaningless. Or a human on drugs. I'm not sure how it contributes to the debate but its entertaining. Nice one.


 Yes dahling, how dahz eht contribute to the debate? And wot debate ehz that exactly, sweetie tweetie? The debate your one wanted to start about sexual violence against women by removing a painting of nymphs sporting in a pool?

This Commentary is in six parts, so please do bear with me. I got botting and as is the usual case, wrote far too much to be thought of as normal and now am wondering, OMG, have I embarrassed myself on Rory's Facebook and is there any way back to salvaging one's reputation as someone who knows one's place in the bardic order? Lols.

But yeah, although pompously satirically bottish and not without some minor quality of entertainment, my own view is the same as in the satire you are responding to. I am of the opinion that this is a crass and cynically opportunist unoriginal move by someone seeking media-attention for their art gallery and wanting to increase her following on Twitter from the 127 she had when I last looked.

As is made clear in the (hopefully) obviously satirical piece of experimental writing above in the voice of a bot-like doggerelist persona that is one's aping, as I see it, in a satirical voice articulating what is really being thought in the mind of this cultural curator in Lancashire desperately trying to be relevant and get more Twitter followers. In my opinion.

Although on the face of it appearing to have nothing to do with it, the piece comes ultimately out from and is part of a specific satirical process and form that the learning of which was a minor part of one's own specialist area and love in Poetry.

The contents and processes, the various practices and poetics, that were taught on a twelve year long literary Filí poet curriculum of twelve six month Samhain to Beltane winter semesters, on which were taught and trained a thousand years of Irish and North British poets from the 7C up till the 17C.

The native British and Irish Gaelic word for poet, Filí, is glossed in Cormac mac Cuilennáin's 1400 word 10C dictionary (the first in Ireland) as "Fi, toxic in satire, and Li, splendor in praise", and it is various the poet speaks."

Basically the two halves of a British and Irish Ollamh/poetry professor's tongue and practice who qualified not on the UK and Irish equivalent of the Mickey Mouse MFA (Toilet Paper) Creative Writing programmes (which I did myself 2001-4 at Edge Hill) but on the unimprovable original curriculum.

Who worked in the creation of literary compositions in satire and praise. Blending the two into what traditionally was called 'the speckled art' of Gaelic Irish and (North) British courtly poetry due to the mix and ratios of satire and praise that appeared in their compositions.

The poets were the propagandists and mouth-pieces of the various petty, regional and high kings in Ireland and Scotland, slagging off in satirical print those they were in dispute with, and the Ollamh poetry professors (plural ollúna) praising their patrons in their anamain poems that was the form reserved for and signature of the highest qualified poets. And with their compositions being effectively legal texts in the entirely civil Brehon law system that regulated Gaelic society.

A relic from the Heroic Iron age, pre-Roman, that lasted for a thousand years longer in Ireland than mainland Europe, and a living Heroic culture founded on ancient Celtic law, with a way of life measured in cattle and raiding, that disappeared shortly after the end of the Second Desmond Rebellion (1579-83).

And with its foundational ethos not a Penal one concerned with punishment, but a principle of restorative Justice. With every person having what in Welsh is called "wynebwerth", and Irish/British Gaelic, log enech.

One's honour, or literally 'face-price' depending on one's status, and was the base amount by which damages were calculated when someone 'lost face' in a civil law contention, argued and judged by the Filí poets.

It is for those of us who the goddess has blessed to instinctively be drawn to discovering, loving, and who make our life's work droning on about it, a fascinating area of specialist poetic knowledge.

A very profound authentic British and Irish 1200 year old living literary tradition that died during Blighty's historical Golden Age at the birth of our modern Shakespearean English language.

Aided by some of Liz 1's mass-murdering courtier-poets such as Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser. With Raleigh most famously cheerily organising the hands on slaughter of 600-800 papal troops at the Massacre of Smerwick, in Kerry, who had surrendered to Lord Grey after being promised their lives wud be spared, and at which point Sir Walter and his merry band, with Spenser present, conducting the religious genocide.

The 'papal soldiers' were in all probability only rudimentary unwanted waifs and strays and economic undesirables rounded up by a papal press-gang, given thread-bare uniforms and barely any weapons, and shipped to Ireland as a perfect way of getting rid of poor and property-less single male migrants.

Part of a wider European Geo-political Religious fight between Spain and England. And a cut-price disastrously uncoordinated toss into the sea of six hundred desperate young migrants, thrown from the streets of the continent into a revolting Ireland at the start of the Second Desmond Rebellion, on the long shot gamble that their arrival created a plosive military momentum that would tip the scales, draw forces away from the main theater of war between Spain and England, and fatally weaken, wound and then defeat England's most historically prestigious monarch to give the Catholic Church the prize of that blessed plot, precious realm, little defensive moat of men that Nature set against a scepter'd stone.

Spenser was rewarded with Kilcolman castle in Cork for his work as secretary to the mission of Lord Grey, sent by Liz 1 to quash the Second Desmond Rebellion and bring to heel the most tragic and romantically remembered of the royal Hiberno-Norman Irish rebel families and noble aristocratic houses.

Who famously lived out to the death of his family's three and a half century noble lineage of four barons and fifteen earls, the heroic Gaelic ethos. And, unlike Hugh O'Neil, the final O'Neil Mór and second earl of Ulster, the final Desmond earl, Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond, head of the most powerful and important Medieval Munster royal family, never submitted to the Crown.

After having a £1000 alive £500 dead price put on him by the head of the Desmond family's hereditary enemy, Thomas Butler, or 'Black Tom', the 10th Earl of Ormond, who was currying favor from Liz in London by refusing to settle disputes with his Desmond foe using Brehon law, as the two had traditionally done since the literary Filí poet and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland (1367), Gerald FitzGerald, 3rd Earl of Desmond's time; Gerald was hunted down and decapitated by Daniel O'Kelly, a Kerry kern killing in the name of one of his local Gaelic rivals, the Clan Moriarty..

O'Kelly severed FitzGerald's head and it got sent to Liz 1 and spiked on London Bridge as a victorious prize and warning to all other would be rebels, that if the head of the great FitzGerald Desmond family can become just another acorn on the nut necklace of her maj Liz 1, then whose cudnt?

Spenser invented in one of the former earl's residence his Spenserian stanza and wrote in Kilcolman castle in the ancient Kingdom of Desmond/South Munster, his poem of good v evil behind which is concealed the mass murder he partook in, The Fairie Queene.

For which he received his pension as Liz 1s chief literary propagandist, and where he wrote the most egregious intellectually evil literary creation Spenser composed in one's male ancestral family home; his vile genocidal call for the extermination of the Irish race and culture, voiced in his most humanly evil text, A View of the Present State of Ireland.

In which he argues for what he chillingly refers to as the 'pacifying' of Ireland; Orwellian double speak for the physical extermination of Her people, but only of course if they refused to stop speaking Gaelic, wearing Irish dress, and engaging in Irish habits. An arch courtier toady propagandist's most dangerous, dark and disturbing thoughts, far too inflammatory to publish until long after his death, in the 17C. When his suggestions about how to enact official policy for exterminating Irish people and Her culture were more acceptable to voice and were enacted in the Penal Laws that outlawed Gaelic culture in Ireland.

And so the birth of one tradition at the death of another. And a form and source of British and Irish poetry that the student of it learns from the start of our studies is "the noble brew in which is boiled / the true root of all knowledge / which bestows after duty / which is climbed after diligence / which poetic ecstasy sets in motion / which joy turns / which is revealed through sorrow; / it is lasting power / undiminishing protection".

As the student learned in, I suspect, the very first year when introduced to a 7C & 10C voice in a title-less text that appears in only one copy in the Book of Ballymote.


  And had no title because it didn't need one as it was the standard set ars poetica text that all the poets in this Tradition knew, as it is the oldest, most authentic and foundation text giving the Reader a comprehensive explanation of where poetry comes from "the mysteries of the elemental abyss", what it is (see above), how it works, and how many of us the gift of the 'good knowledge' aka poetry "comes into" (ie are born with it).

Which the student poet learns is "not everybody, but every other person." Myself learning of the existence of this text in the fifth year of one's study of the voluminous mass of material making up the original twelve year British and Irish literary poet training course.

And that took me sixteen years before I'd everything understood in apple pie order enough to write fluidly and comprehensively present the hard-won fruits of one's joyously undertook labours to an audience. Which i have only begun doing recently after years of writing a few million words all over the internet, failing, failing better, until finally all the various pieces in the jigsaw of the literary Filí poet Tradition have like a closed box clicked shut into a perfectly and coherently understood whole.

It took four years over the twelve, not least because I was learning it via the medium of English translation, and there were no teachers to guide me apart from the texts themselves. And I only stumbled across the Amergin text detailing the twelve-year curriculum's Poetics five years into one's studies when I had been eighteen months out of university.

As an independent scholar in Dublin, in my office at a sweet shop internet cafe on Wellington Quay, at the foot of the Ha'penny Bridge on the South bank of the Liffey river, at the time I was in a fit of furious composition of either my (unpublished) long poem on Michael Collins, Mouth Flower Rock, or my (unpublished) long poem on John Lennon and the Beatles, Mersey O'Bheal.

And then there's the whole question of what part, if any, is played by the culturally magical aspect of ancient Ireland? Though it may sound terribly snobbish, arrogant, and frankly crazy, is there any truth to the notion some used to infer when Heaney was alive, of one being born to become a practitioner at the very highest level in the mold of this most naturally gifted, modest and humble of Ireland's High Poet / Ard Ollamh Érenn?

The theory that this inspirationally inclusive and warmly uplifting Derry oak was in some sense the first modest born most naturally blessed and gifted modern working-class custodian of Her authentic spiritual flame, in a way born to the role?

I am probably not making much sense and sound highly delusional, but this is a very speculative stream of consciousness and in no way meant to convey it as a fixed idea. But there is the theory that anyone with the gift for poetry can be born and led by their poetic instinct to become a primary global beacon of this scholarly drudically rooted Tradition that has at its heart the intellectual keys codes and blueprint for any creative individual no matter what station in life we are born into, no matter who our parents are, to unlock the mind within and by joyous scholastic study learn how to uniquely evolve and spiritually self-ennoble via the act of studious composition.

So one can ask, not expecting an answer but as a speculative exercise, is s/he born into it at the highest level? After all, the advocate making the case for this position wud argue, one of the words for poetry and a poem in Gaelic is dán, from Tuatha Dé Danann, "people of the goddess Art"; and as well as art/poem dán also means 'gift', highly developed 'skill', and also 'fate'. Summed up in the druidic saying: "One cannot drown whose dán, whose art, whose poetry, whose 'fate' it is to hang."

A sense of being born to the role of spiritual custodian of the totality of bardic knowledge, aka,  Coimgne,
“knowledge held in common” or “comprehensive knowledge". The saying being that "s/he is no filí/poet who does not preserve coimgne and all the stories", ie,  the “complete and coordinated knowledge” of the entire narrative corpus, in an ancient and sacred culture connected in an unbroken literary line to the oral practice of druids. 

And that s/he a feted genderless eternal spiritual being having a brief earthly experience in a human body --(as the legendary great British eccentric David Icke begins his twelve hour lectures by stating)-; is feted and blessed by Her to possess, carry, and reveal in letters this Tradition as a living repository of Coimgne, and torch of this ancient scholarly learning and practice founded on the literary Principles of Poetry aka Auraicept na n-Éces?

That began in the modern age with the literary practice of our Coole Dublin Sligo London spacer William Butler Yeats, who founded his own practice on the same course, and was lucky enough to be surrounded by the experts of his time, and had most of it; but certainly not the Ars poetica, as that only got translated in 1978.

After all, it is not exactly a job you apply for and have a written schedule, but, if you accept the claims of the most waffly higher esoteric Irish writers waxing lyrically over Yeats and Heaney, it is an otherworldly calling.

And to play even a minor part as I am, it is a great honor and responsibility to carry forward and present to the world the reality of this learning in its most fully realised articulation yet, for the next however long.

And only possible with the creation of the internet making easily available and accessible the voluminous amount of textual matter and research needed to make this a practical undertaking and not just the mad airy dream of a working class English son of Irish immigrants.

Who without the internet could not have done it. Turning up in Dublin and asking wild-eyed randomers about this great and noble 1200 year literary tradition, one would need several lifetimes because you'd be going down a thousand and one rabbit holes for every one that led someplace authentic. Summed up in a Wisdom Saying of Cuchulain: "Great the calamity in the number of ways and paths at the beds of the noble stream only one in a hundred will lead you successfully across.

But i digress, please, the above aside shud be treated with the utmost skepticism, and one wud urge the Reader to take with a pinch of salt the private phantasmagoria of an unpublished working-class Anglo-Irish FitzGerald Desmond in Dublin botting on social-media from the Liberties, heartland of working-class Dublin 8.

No, look not to the garbled doggerelistic personae voice/s drawn from the aural silence of ones imagination, but seek instead the knowledge of this Tradition in the superlative literary utterances of the numerous multi award-winning poets of Ireland with far more professional poetic pedigrees than oneself.

And whose elite Irish voices appear regularly in the global broadsheets as examples of contemporary poetic greatness in the English language, cherishing and celebrating Her literary warmth and all that is kind loving lofty and true in the art of beautiful song spoken in an eloquent literary mouth-music that is the poetry, dán and gift of the good knowledge birthed to half of everybody from this faery woman and Tuatha Dé Danann triple goddess of Banbha, Fódla, and Ériu.

The ones that represent Official Verse Culture in Ireland at its most supremely cultured level, and whose practices have been especially acknowledged, selected, nurtured, trained, and had the cold eyes of the world's finest publishing professionals cast over them; by a multitude of poetry professors in the golden circle of ollúna, that appraise, measure, sift, accept, reject, choose, judge; and in their infinite wisdom decide and publish what is best, finest and the most illuminating examples of lofty Yeatsean greatness.

Carrying forth and launching into the rarest realms of eloquence, truth and beauty, the names and voices of only the most highly trained and deserving goddess-blessed people of this speckled art possessing much more nobility of spirit, and with a far greater natural ability than oneself in communicating the full literate grace, poise, pose, scope and purpose of Her culturally learned Tradition of poetry than this common werking-klawz Ormskirk oink.

And so, ay, twuz about and around the time of being five years into learning, when I was composing one of these two long unpublished poems; that I first stumbled across one of the five or six English translations of the Ars poetica, by one of the world's most expert authorities on the Ogham or Celtic Tree Alphabet, Erynn Rowan Laurie.

And on doing so, after having been sending poems out to small mags and the like for eighteen months since the final year at Edge Hill, racking up about 20 publishing credits, what small remaining desire I had to carry on playing what I viewed as a head-game with others, none of whom were on the path I was as a student poet, having been very successful at it, and then bored with it - totally vanished.

As I thought, knew instinctively, excitedly reading it and making little sense of it, but knowing; that this was the holy grail text of the Gaelic poetry tradition. Not quite able to believe that I was one of the few people in the world to stumble on it and immediately grasp its significance. What Poetry Editor I thought buzzing my mental bits off, even knows of this text, or even knows anything at all about what I am studying and loving studying?

And so, I thought, laughing to myself, they are of absolutely no use to me at all, as this text, which has picked up the name of Cauldron of Poesy, due to the cauldron imagery in its metaphorical explanation of what poetry is and how it works in a person, is worth the acceptance of every single poetry editor on the planet, bar none.

And then sending it immediately to another mad Irish poet I knew from my time of going out every week reciting live poetry, and he is the only other person who I know who gets its relevance. He read it a couple of years later at midsummer solstice at Tara the year after I recited poetry there at dawn, low key just me and a friend. And two years later the official poetry body in Ireland had made a big official jolly out of it and now the ollúna all tramp up there every year following in the footsteps of what one's own started as a thing for poets in 21C Ireland to do.

So, poetry, aka, the noble brew in which is boiled the true root of all knowledge, aka the good gift, doesn't come into every person but every other person. Which means, according to the most expert and original authority on the matter, that fifty percent of all of us are born with the basic gift that if we train it can end up on Facebook satirically wellying culture professionals in Manchester if s/he the individual gender-less poet's mind made up entirely of consciousness and human spirit, believes, or even doesn't believe, that their decision to remove a painting to start debate, is merely the cynical attempt by someone to get more Twitter followers.

  And so the above lines from Amergin Glúingel's one hundred line Ars poetica, were first translated into English in only 1978, and is a text made up of thirty lines of 10C prose gloss extrapolating on the fifty lines and then twenty more of 7C rosc (plural roscanna).

The rosc is the first poetic form written down in Britain and Ireland. An ancient alliterative form of almost impenetrable condensed wisdom sayings, in this case about British and Irish poetry being 'the noble brew in which is boiled / the true root of all knowledge'.

That sadly few are interested in learning about even though it is all there in black and white apple pie order in English translation. And especially poets, I find, do not want to know of it. As soon as ye open ye gob about it they look at their watches and remember they have a suddenly very important appointment elsewhere, anywhere but listening to oneself pontificate on what they by rights shud have a little bit of interest in but sadly all too often do not.

Bear with me brother, I will get to the relevance of all this and how it relates to the above piece after some preparatory contextual remarks that will give you an idea of where I am coming from.

The origin of the twelve year curriculum is linked directly to druidry and beginning at the birth of Brythonic and Gaelic writing in the Ogham alphabet.

And over the next five hundred years the literary processes and poetics evolved in the Ancient and Old Irish language out from a seven year bardic training course, with two classifications of bard, dóer/servile/unfree and sóer/noble/free, and eight grades in each classification (a total of sixteen) - to by the 10C the literary Filí poet curriculum in Middle Irish.

Many of the texts have the same bot-like quality you detected in one's own satire above. Paragraph-long lists containing masses of information the student poet was expected to memorize and learn.

The student poet with dreams of becoming a fully qualified linguistic expert over the arduous twelve year course, began the twelve year literary curriculum undertaking the studies of the first of three bardic subgrades, the ollaire/apple.

Glossed in the annals as "a buffoon without skill", and so called because their art was at the level of "the bastard sport of the juggler's apple".

The ollaire was required to learn seven tales from the corpus of 250 prim-scéla/primary tales that make up the totality of tales and corpus of the Four Cycles of Irish Myth: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle, and the Historical Cycle.

Of these there are around nearly four fifths remaining in manuscript, and easily available to access and read online in English translation for anyone wanting to follow in the educational wake of the original Gaelic poets.

There were also as part of the learning, 100 fó-scéla, or 'secondary tales', that were never written down and passed from the lip of the Ollamh to the ear of the anruth over the final five years. It represents the oral and druidic roots of the literary Irish and British poet's craft and vocation.

By which time when the anruth had qualified as an Ollamh they were writing praise poems in the form reserved for this apical grade, 'Anamain, ie, án somain, glorious profit'.

It could be the major or minor variety, anamain mór or anamain becc; with four divisions of anamain mór, Nath, the Anair, Laidh, and Eman.

And at which point the poetry professor qualified on the twelve year curriculum was 'A great sage then, (s)he does not apologize for his/her ignorance of anything in the four divisions of learnedness (Gaelic, History, Latin and Poetry)'.


  But the ollaire/apple was a long way from learning all this. And on completing the memorization of seven tales and being introduced to the Ogham scales in the Book of Ballymote, the student poet, still in the first year, writing their low satiric doggerel, progressed into the studies of the second bardic subgrade, the taman/headless body/trunk/stock.

The taman is glossed as a satirist who ‘assaults everyone with his recitations’, and their doggerelistic works ‘do not make the apportioning of the truth’, ‘oppress the chiefs of the court’; and the first year students at this grade ‘spew their brute mouthfuls’ of satiric doggerel that the Writing Programme Directors and Ollamh Poetry Professors running their poetry schools no doubt viewed this entry level grade of would be literary poet, as the intellectual Trinity College Oxford librarian and polemicist Rebecca Watts does Instapoet Slammers publishing trite and meaningless Inspirational doggerel on Instagram.

Our cerebral Suffolk poetry assassin profoundly disappointed that these tweet length pieces of contemporary 'poetry' draw to them from the common emojinal masses millions of clicked like, smiley and super hearts.

The core studies of the headless body/taman grade was learning another three of the prim-scéla/primary tales, before, still in the first year, they entered the studies of the final of the three satiric bardic subgrades, the drisac/thornbard.

The final bardic subgrade before the studies of the first literary grade were begun at the start of the second year, the drisac/thornbard, is the name of the third grade of eight in the dóer/servile/unfree bard classification.

So called because their low lampooning level of doggerel "sticks in the face of all." S/he had to learn another ten tales before progressing into the second year and begin the studies of the first of seven literary grades.

Beginning in the second year studying the requirements of the fochloc/word-beginner (so called because their two-leaved art is "slender as a sprig of brooklime", "fochlocan").

Then in the third year the studies of the macfirmid/son of composition, then in the fourth year the four-leaved art of the dos/bush, then cano/whelp, cli/ridgepole; and in the seventh year the wannabe Irish and British literary poetry professor began the studies of the anruth/noble stream.

At which point they were already very learned, and the anruth was "'at the heart and in the middle of his disciples who are learning from him".

The anruth/noble stream is said to be named for four reasons: "the splendor of his teaching, for the numerousness of his interpretations, for the eloquence of his speech, for the extent of his knowledge. Indeed he is found in each division of learning, whether poetry or Latin learning, or historical learning, the only thing being that he has not reached the summit".

There are various canonical texts which deal with the status and grades of poets in Brehon law.

The 8C Críth Gablach, Branched Purchase; Uraicecht Becc, Small Primer; Uraicecht na Ríar, that details the poetic grades in Early Irish Law; and, among others, Tract 26 (of 48) in the Senchas Már, Great Tradition. Which is Ireland's most important collection of vernacular legal tracts said to be written in the fifth century, at a meeting of St Patrick and Lóegaire mac Néill at Tara.


 And this penultimate Noble Stream grade of Anruth the Irish and British literary poet is glossed in the Rank Sections/Míadslechtae text in the Corpus Iuris Hibernici, as being:

"A stream from a cliff, this is what characterises it: it overwhelms every weak, light, insignificant thing, it carries off rocks, it alters the appearance of a strand along with intense weather. So also, the man who is likened to it: he overwhelms bad (Latin) scholars, he overpowers them with the foundations of texts and interpretations, and his teaching is capable of altering the appearance of exposition, with indulgence towards the unrightful people of little learning who ebb in the presence of a splendid stream."

And the anruth/noble stream, over the hill into the second half, took on the higher aspects of learning and the spiritual side of their practice; with another five year scholarly slog before qualifying after twelve years at the apical grade of Ollamh/poetry professor.

At year eight they were expected to have entered into and have an understanding of the apical compositional and prophetic state of Imbas forosnai, and its two sub-strands tenm láida/illumination by song, and dichetal do chennaib/chanting of the heads.

Collectively these three prophetic states were an ability for impromptu, spontaneous speaking, performance, and writing, without prior preparation.

And Irish Tradition glosses them collectively as The Three Things Required of a Poet. Once you had an understanding and practical grasp of the prophetic state you were two-thirds qualified and only another four years to go before attaining the status and grade of the Ollamh/poetry professor.

Imbas forosnai is defined by Cormac mac Cuilennáin in his 10C Glossary of 1400 words as "Manifestation that enlightens': (it) discovers what thing soever the poet likes and which he desires to reveal. Thus then is that done."

Basically the poet begins writing and the act of composition itself leads one to resolve and find illumination on whatever it is s/he is seeking to understand.

Eloquently summed up by Frost in his essay The Figure A Poem Makes, the act of writing a poem, or any piece when written in the apical poetic and psychological state under the influence of Imbas forosnai: "it begins in delight and ends in wisdom."

Although Frost is referring explicitly to writing poetry, the same is true of any high-grade writing written in the white-hot fury of this joyful cerebral state one has learned to harness and trained as the 21C closest equivalent to the Medieval literary Filí poet.

"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting. A poem may be worked over once it is in being, but may not be worried into being. Read it a hundred times: it will for ever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance. It can never lose its sense of a meaning that once unfolded by surprise as it went."


 And so, finally, the experimental writing of the satirical piece mocking your one in Manchester, is in the form of 'ainmedh: full blown sarcasm'. Which is one of the ten varieties of the satirical form Aircetal: Incantation/verse.

Which the student British literary poet from the non Mickey Mouse Schools learned when introduced to the Medieval treatise on satirical forms in the Book of Ballymote which was a requirement of learning on the twelve year trainee literary Filí poet curriculum; and that begins with a question, obviously meant to be asked out loud, and then answered, out loud, crooning: Cis lir fodla aíre? ‘How many types of satire are there?'

Ní hansa. A trí .i. aisnés ocus ail ocus aircetal. 'Not difficult, three i.e. declaration, insult, incantation’.

'Aisnés: declaration; a declaration in prose, reproach without rhyme.

Ail: Insult; verbal injury or derrogatory nickname which sticks, rhymed or not.

Aircetal: Incantation/verse. Divided into 10 varieties with several sub-varieties.

1. Mac Bronn; son of the womb, son of sorrow. This satire is told to only one person. (gossip)

2. dallbach: (blindness) An Inuendo. In this satire, the victim remains anonymous while the deeds done or not done are explained in detail. Further subdivided into three subtypes:

a: firmly established. Done when there is sufficient evidence for the poet to be able to prove the contention.

b: lightly established. Somewhat questionable evidence exists.

c: Heresay or rumor.

3. Focal i frithshuidiu: word in opposition. "A quatrain of praise and therein is found a word on the verge of satire". That which looks like praise but is actually derrogatory.

4. tar n-aire: outrage of satire. A reproach made through negative comparisons about the subject.

5. tar molta: outrage of praise.' Praise soooo overblown as it is ridiculous or ironic. The praising of qualities that the subject actually lacks.

6.tamall aire: touch of praise.' Similar to tar n-aire but not as flamboyant.

7 tamal molta: Satire which praises the subject faintly. Merecer (a commentator on the satire text) states that this could be a praise poem that praises the subject about the shine of his shoes.

8. Lanair. full satire. The name, family and residence of the victim are detailed in a very public way.

9. ainmedh: full blown sarcasm.

10. glam dicind: a religio-magical ritual using public satire and incantation against an unjust king. It involved 30 clergy, 30 poets and 30 warriors and the spell being spoken just before dawn, by all seven grades of bard, circling a thorn-bush on top of a hill that divided territories, facing north, speaking their part of the satire into their left hand, in which was held a rock and thorn, keeping the legs straight and bending their back perpendicular up and down. Honest. Search online and discover the truth of it.

So, yes, the bot-like doggerelist voice meant to be an aping of the cultural curator in one's first home place of Lancashire, aping this woman's thought process, as I satirically view it through the lens of a form of literary bardic Satire, reflects the Medieval style of paragraph long sentences enumerating the many processes and poetics of the Filí poet's practice of 'Fi, toxic in satire, and Li, splendor in praise, and it is various the poet speaks."

Cheers ears, thanks very much. If you are into this kind of thing, there is a brilliant talk by the foremost expert on all this, Ollamh Liam Breatnach, Professor in the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute For Advanced Studies. I wont link it because Facebook has begun marking YouTube links as spam, but it is titled "The Church in the Laws of Early Medieval Ireland - 2014 Lecture".

Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to 'prompt conversation'


My name is Clerpeez G'wannaway, and I am a very boring middle-class middle of the road professional British intellectual Art curator and critic with a job talking bollox and pretending anything I do is remotely relevant to anyone but me and the local council subsidized and supported token artistic luvvies here in our bubble thinking up ways of generating free publicity for ourselves and our vanity art projects.

That have nowt to do with working-class people but pretend they do in order to promote a moronic notion that the working-class people of Manchester actually know and give two hoots about the (non-existent) cultural impact of pre-Raphaelite paintings of nymphs and nereids on the working-class youth of Britain and England, particularity urban South Lancashire, home of drug-gangs, sex and executions in broad daylight, with slappers (of both sexes) galore bang at it getting off their nuts on drugs and alcohol every weekend and engaging in the great Lancastrian youth pastime of drink and drug-fueled casual sex with strangers, Shameless, rough-arse plain speech, and that great down to earth Lancastrian humor that I do not share as some blow-in outsider who always wanted to be on telly talking bollox about Art.

And as the years went by and I copped on I was not gonna be called to bravely serve the BBC version of the British nation as its first Official Art Culture sanctioned female Visual Art critic that could fuck out of it the pompous and snooty patronizing bore Brian Sewell and his royal ass kissing status-quo collegiate patriarchal old school wannabe aristocratic toadies - hence this right on PC media stunt of cynically crassly and boorishly appropriating the very real and disturbing problem of sexual violence against women, and lumpishly equating the gravity of it with two hundred year old paintings inspired by tropes from Classical Antiquity.

Thereby revealing how much of a one-dimensional intellectual light-weight, cultural vulgarian and inartistic philistine I am, willing to ruthlessly exploit and use my gender for personal advancement under the guise of being a thoughtful and concerned feminist, and all enacted in furtherance of getting the ball on one's personal career goal rolling, and which will hopefully start by increasing the amount of my followers on Twitter from its current number of 127.

If I was American I would be talking about smashing up statues of Abraham Lincoln. This has nothing to do with any public conversation and everything to do with me Clerpeez G'wannaway frustrated with the crusty patriarchal state of English dinosaur art criticism that needs clearing out of the patronizing old school arse-grabbing posho Oxbreligious public schoolboy fossils talking utter bollox about Kings and Queens in that theatrical lahvy yaamy plaamy voice of those who benefit from the unspoken but very real affirmative-action policies in place across the UK art world with women not getting a look in at the top and anyone not a royalist toady aint getting a foot in the door. Across all art forms from visual to linguistic.

Have a lovely jolly day. I am so desperate. Forced smiley. Isn't it all so verrih lahvly dahling.