The evidence for women poets in ancient Ireland is fragmentary, to say the least, but it exists. Resistance seems to stem more from modern prejudice concerning gender norms projected onto the past by current scholars and archaeologists, according to feminist archaeology.
The legend of the veiled one Who was the Cailleach Bheara? She appears as a mysterious and shadowy figure hovering around the edges of Irish folklore and myth, yet very little is known about her. The word cailleach has… Read More
Last week, I listened to one of my lecturers read aloud a poem in Old Irish, and I learned a few things: Old Irish is a language which is meant to be listened to. Listening to someone read… Read More
Today, satire refers to biting, snarky incendiary sarcasm, often humorous, generally aimed at politicians and people of power. But to the ancient Irish, whose society was founded on a code of honour, satire had a much darker, and more practical purpose. To compose a satire against someone was to challenge their authority and call their honour into question. There could be no greater shame.
“Love wasn’t like it was portrayed in the movies; I understood that now. It wasn’t an ethereal cloud of hearts and flowers and happy-ever-afters. It was a solid gritty living lump with sharp edges plunging around in my… Read More
Happy Imbolc! Today is the first day of Celtic spring, a tradition known in Ireland as Imbolc. This weekend we’ve had snow, we’ve had torrential rain, we’ve had wild winds, and we’ve had fog… it certainly doesn’t feel… Read More
I wrote this poem for Samhain last year, and decided to re-post it, because it fits with the season so well, and also with the atmosphere of last week’s poem, The Princess on the Hill. They hide the… Read More
It being the season that it is, and the big event drawing ever nearer, my mind has been wandering over the tragic legend of Tlachtga, and so this circular poem is inspired by her, and dedicated to her.