Ah that old Con Houlihan has made Dead Beat all meloncholy.
Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This
Thursday, February 28, 2008
So I ask Houlihan about Paddy Kav. Dead Beat is starved for the stories, you see.
"I was lucky," he tells me. " I discovered Patrick Kavanagh at an early age, first in The Irish Press -- and later in magazines. Here was real poetry -- and it was about the world that I knew. In later life he used to say that he should have remained in Monaghan rather than come to Dublin. He would have made a fortune in smuggling during the war years -- or so he said. Of course he wouldn't -- some people are born not to make fortunes.
He came to Dublin because he wished to meet people with whom he could converse. Back in Monaghan he had plenty of neighbours who could talk all day and night -- but not about poetry.
Dublin attracted him as London had attracted Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith -- it was an intellectual capital -- kind of. It wasn't the heartland of mental and spiritual ferment that Kavanagh had visualised -- in many ways it was a petty town. Times were bad: most people were poorly paid -- and worked at jobs they deemed beneath them. There was much bitterness, born out of frustration. Kavanagh encountered back biting and front biting. In his own words, "The standing army of Irish poets was never less than five hundred." Alas -- many of them weren't poets at all. "Poets are born, not made" is an old saying. It could be rewritten as "Poets are born, not paid."
Houlihan goes on: Of course as children we loved those poems, even though we knew they were only nonsense verses. Here is my favourite.
"Mary had a little mule, one day he followed her to school.
"The teacher like a fool, went up behind the mule
"And hit it with a rule. There wasn't any school."
We will take an example.
"Halt, halt" the robber cried
"And hand me out your riches".
"I can't, I can't" the man replied
"For I'm holding up my britches."
If you took out "britches" and put in "pants" it wouldn't be funny at all. Rhyme creates the magic.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Hudson and Horace are back. It's that time of year they tell me. Oscar night approaching.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Anyway, the Maharashi, levitated his body right out of this world this week, but his spirit soars on.
By the way, listen to Ol D.B.'s backing vocals on Sexie Sadie - never earned a cent from it - those old misers.
Friday, February 01, 2008
And when I said that in public last week, they contacted me and said I was wrong in that. They said that it's when Revenue come to complete it. I thought completion meant 'the end'. Sorry if there was any misunderstanding."