2 edition of In Wicklow and West Kerry found in the catalog.
In Wicklow and West Kerry
J. M. Synge
Includes articles, some partly rewritten, which originally appeared in the Manchester guardian, and in the Shanachie.
|Statement||by John M. Synge.|
|The Physical Object|
|Pagination||136 p. ;|
|Number of Pages||136|
At last, to make a move, I said it was a fine day. He preferred the stories and speech of the Irish peasants living in splendid isolation or to meet with the drifters of the road, farmers and fishermen, believing these individuals to be the repositories of Irish folklore. The rain had stopped for a moment, but a high wind was blowing as we made our way to a public-house to get a few biscuits and a glass of beer before we started. As soon as I came near Rathnew I passed many bands of girls and men making rather ruffianly flirtation on the pathway, and women who surged up to stare at me, as I passed in the middle of the road. Dingle Bay could now be seen through narrow valleys on our left, and had extraordinary beauty in the evening light. A Court in Germany ordered that access to certain items in the Project Gutenberg collection are blocked from Germany.
We looked into one bog-hole, and then into another, when a snipe rose and terrified us. These women seemed to enjoy this part of their work, and shrieked with amusement when two or three of them fell on some enormous farmer or publican and nearly dragged him to the ground. It was the same the next day, and the day after, and so on for three days or more; and then you could begin to see the tops of the stalks lying over as if the life was gone out of them. It's not the work that would trouble you, but it's that they can't leave you alone, and that you must be ever and always fooling over something.
That afternoon her two younger sisters had come to see her, and now she had been taken with a panic that they had been drowned going home through the bogs, and she was crying and wailing, and saying she must go to look for them. There is nothing I can make now but tea, and tea is killing me; and I'm living alone, in a little hut beyond, where four baronies, four parishes, and four townlands meet. I remember one time, a while after I was married, there was a tinker down there in the glen, and two women along with him. The flock was driven by as well as could be managed, and a moment later an old man came up to us, and asked if we had seen a ewe passing from the west. When he was over ninety he married an old woman of eighty-five.
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Letters from a member of Parliament, to his friend in the country
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As I finished each letter I had to say who it was to, and where the people lived; and then I had to tell her if they were married or single, how many children they had, and make a guess at how many pounds they spent in the year, and at the number of their servants.
When I had been reading for some time, and had quite forgotten the thieves, I looked up at some little stir and saw a young man, in his Sunday clothes, walking up the path towards me. It was not thought fit for her to leave the house alone so late in the evening, so I went with her.
Above the wall on the three windy sides there were rows of finely-grown lime trees, the place of meeting in the summer for ten thousand bees. On the Road ONE evening after heavy rains I set off to walk to a village at the other side of some hills, part of my way lying along a steep heathery track.
They are a valuable document on the inhabitants and their social conditions at the turn of the century. A few days later I discovered, not at all to my surprise, that he lived half a mile away, and was intimately related to a small boy who came to the house every morning to run messages and clean the boots.
Then the people went on, I suppose, in their wickedness and their animosity of one against the other; and the Almighty God sent down the third plague, and that was the sickness called the choler.
From an early age Synge would set off to explore and to strike up conversations with the locals. The morning looked as if it would turn to rain and wind, so I took the advice I had been given and let the canoes go off without me to the sports.
The lads in this place think you've nothing to do but to go across the sea and fill a bag with gold; but I tell you it is hard work, and in those countries the workhouses is full, and the prisons is full, and the crazyhouses is full, the same as in the city of Dublin.
Then there was the blight that came on the 9th of June in the year The road is caked with moss that breaks like pie-crust under my feet, and in corners where there is shelter there are sheep loitering, or a few straggling grouse An east wind is rising.
At last I decided to lie in wait at the dangerous hour—about twelve o'clock—when the boys of the neighbourhood were on their way home from Mass, and we were supposed to be busy with our devotions three miles away.
Looking down the drop of five or six hundred feet, the height is so great that the gannets flying close over the sea look like white butterflies, and the choughs like flies fluttering behind them.
Towards the top of the hill I passed through a narrow gap with high rocks on one side of it and fir trees above them, and a handful of jagged sky filled with extraordinarily brilliant stars.
I sat for a long time watching the sail of the canoe moving away to Dunquin, and talking to a young man who had spent some years in Ballyferriter, and had good English. How at all will you get on in the darkness when the roads will be running with water, and you'll be likely to slip down every place into some drain or ditch?
When the sun rises there is a morning of almost supernatural radiance, and even the oldest men and women come out into the air with the joy of children who have recovered from a fever.
The performance was begun by the usual dirty white horse, that was brought out and set to gallop round, with a gaudy horse-woman on his back, who jumped through a hoop and did the ordinary feats, the horse's hoofs splashing and possing all the time in the green slush of the ring.
As we came to the city We saw maidens pretty, And we called out to ask them to buy our heath-broom. One man would take such a woman, and say he was going such roads and places, stopping at this fair and another fair, till he'd meet them again at such a place, when the spring was coming on.
And there were many people were afeard to speak to her, for they thought she was after coming back from the grave. When the sun rises there is a morning of almost supernatural radiance, and even the oldest men and women come out into the air with the joy of children who have recovered from a fever.
They're poor people, Mister honey, with bits of cabins, and mud floors under them, but they're as happy as if they were in heaven, and what more would a man want than that?
You're the girl likes a walk in the moonlight. When I came out into the air the cold was intense, though it was a morning of August, and the dew was so heavy that bushes and meadows of mountain grass seemed to have lost their greenness in silvery grey.
Shelves: ireland I enjoyed the collection of articles that appeared in various publication of the day with their reflections on the life and people of rural Ireland at the turn of the 20th century as well as the inclusion, in my edition, of the artwork by Jack B Yeats.
I have come out again on the mountain road the third day of the fog. As I turned away I heard the loud clap of one hand in another, which always marks the conclusion of a bargain.The nomadic life of the vagrants was one he greatly admired, and believed a life spent out-of-doors led to a healthy and long life.
His fascination with the lifestyles of the people of the country is evident throughout In Wicklow and West Kerry.
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In Wicklow and West Kerry by John M. Synge Published by Maunsel & Company Ltd, Dublin and London The Vagrants of Wicklow The Oppression of the Hills On the Road At a Wicklow Fair A Landlord's Garden in County Wicklow Return to Documents page Return to main index.
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