The Deserted Village – By Oliver Goldsmith.
Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer’d the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer’s lingering blooms delayed,
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please,
How often have I loitered o’er thy green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene!
Before setting off on his 2500k, three month walk next April, beginning from Holycross, Thurles, Co.Tipperary, to eventually end up in Santiago de Compostella Galicia in Spain, Michael Walsh (Retd & former aide de camp to H.E. the President of Ireland), has planned another fund raising event, the total proceeds going to TÚS NUA, the Autism Residential & Resource Centre here in Thurles.
This time Michael is inviting as many people as possible to join him on the now renowned 8km Eamon An Chnoic Loop walk, situated near Upperchurch Village, Thurles.
At this time of the year, this wild, rural, yet highly attractive walkway area in Upperchurch, will be exhibiting its new season’s collection of “Spring Glad Rags.“ For rural walk lovers it is a time to renew & experience the warmth of the sunlight, smell the clean fresh air & observe at first hand ‘Mother Nature’s,’ renewing four-way seasonal cycle. So do come listen to the bleating of young lambs in the surrounding hilly fields, observe at first hand the fresh clean buds on surrounding trees & the examine the magic that is brown fern turning again to pale green, on the surrounding landscape.
This walk will take place on Saturday February 23rd next, beginning at 11.30am and the registration fee for walkers is just €10.00, all for this very worthy cause.
Note: Registration Fee does include complementary refreshments and for all further details please contact Mobile No: 087-2755445.
It is with sadness we report the recent death of poet, essayist, critic and editor, Mr Dennis O’Driscoll.
One of Ireland’s most respected critics of poetry, Dennis was born on January 1st 1954, here in Thurles Co Tipperary, son to James and Catherine O’Driscoll. He was educated by the Christian Brothers before going on to study Law at University College, Dublin, (1972-75.)
For many years Dennis was employed by the Irish Revenue Commissioners, specializing in “death duties, stamp duties, and customs.” In his memoir entitled, ‘Sing for the Taxman,’ Dennis stated, “I have always regarded myself as a civil servant rather than a ‘poet’ or ‘artist’ – words I would find embarrassing and presumptuous to ascribe to myself.”
I first ran across Dennis in late 2007, when he & I were both invited to contribute to the installation of the then new Revenue Museum in Dublin Castle. Alas, for me, it was not to be, however a poem by Dennis entitled, ‘At The Revenue Museum,’ would later be printed in a program for the opening ceremony and same poem now hangs proudly as an exhibit within the museum building itself.
During his lifetime Dennis published, in all, some nine books of poetry, three ‘Chap-books,’ (pocket-sized booklets) and a collection of Essays and Reviews. He also edited and compiled contemporary quotations on poets and poetry and indeed published a book of interviews with poet Seamus Heaney.
His poetry publications included Kist (1982), Hidden Extras (1987), Long Story Short (1993), Quality Time (1997), Weather Permitting (1999), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Prize 2001, Exemplary Damages (2002), Reality Check (2008), short listed for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Prize, and most recently Dear Life (2012). His New and Selected Poems (2004) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation.
His three Chap-books were The Bottom Line (1994), 50 O’Clock (2005) and All the Living (2008).
His awards included a Lannan Literary Award, the E.M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the Centre for Irish Studies in Minnesota, and the Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of th0e Year Award. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate in literature by University College, Dublin in 2009.
Dennis was also an advisor to Agenda magazine, a contributing editor of Harvard Review, a member of Aosdána, the Irish Academy of Artists, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.
Someone – By Dennis O’Driscoll
someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie
eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea
scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last
shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out
spraying with deodorant her coarse armpit grass
someone today is leaving home on business
saluting, terminally, the neighbours who will join in the cortège
someone is paring his nails for the last time, a precious moment
someone’s waist will not be marked with elastic in the future
someone is putting out milk bottles for a day that will not come
someone’s fresh breath is about to be taken clean away
someone is writing a cheque that will be rejected as ‘drawer deceased’
someone is circling posthumous dates on a calendar
someone is listening to an irrelevant weather forecast
someone is making rash promises to friends
someone’s coffin is being sanded, laminated, shined
who feels this morning quite as well as ever
someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date
perfume and goodbyes her final will and testament
someone today is seeing the world for the last time
as innocently as he had seen it first
Dennis died suddenly, at Naas General Hospital, now sadly missed by his loving wife Julie (O’Callaghan), brothers Proinsias, Seamus and Declan and sisters Marie and Eithne, nieces, nephews and all family members.
Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.
Don’t Quit (A poem by Gerard Haughey.)
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high, and you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit, rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns, as every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about, when he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, you may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than, it seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up, when he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are, it may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
In today’s Ireland regrettably, “What you seize is what you get.”
EXPERIENCE “ELEGY WRITTEN IN AN ‘UPPERCHURCH,’ YARD.” (With sincere apologies to poet Thomas Gray)
“The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, the lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, and leaves the world to torchlight and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, and all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, and drowsy tinklings lull the Upperchurch folds.
So what are ye up to on Friday Nov 9th next? Usual old Friday night activity I suppose. Boring Late Late Show, lounging in front of the TV, stuck ‘gaming,’ on the Play-station, or simply uploading text on Facebook in the hope of a LIKE. Am I right?
So time to take a break, grab HERSELF and steal away from that old constant Friday night drudgery, by experiencing at first hand the aforementioned poetic lines above, in that magnificent, wild, unspoilt and uncontrolled heavenly environment, that is Upperchurch, Thurles, here in Co.Tipperary.
Take HERSELF, instead, on a romantic torchlight stroll through beautiful farmland, quiet country roads, hills and lowlands and continue to stretch your legs on a variety of other walks, for all abilities, ranging from 6km to 18km on Saturday Nov 10th and Sunday Nov 11th also. This is not just my advice, it’s also the advice of the Upperchurch /Drombane Development Association, latter organising their annual Weekend Winter walks. Your kids will so enjoy the wide open space and the clear, pure hilly air.
Note: The Friday night walk is free of admission charges & complimentary refreshments will be provided after all the weekend’s events.
Walkers do not need to be reminded, but are nevertheless advised to bring suitable footwear, rain gear, a backpack with a snack, drinks and possibly a change of clothes. Remember Strictly No Dogs.
If your legs are up for it after hiking through the hills, there are free set dancing lessons on Saturday evening & traditional music will be provided in all the local pubs during the weekend. There will be free set dancing lessons on Saturday evening at 5.00 p.m. in Oliver Ryan’s Pub and visiting musicians and performers are as usual very welcome.
Upperchurch/Drombane Development Association wish to thank sincerely all area landowners for their co-operation, over this weekend’s events.
Remember: Walking Weekend 9th, 10th & 11th November
Registration Fee Adults: €10
Post Primary Students: €5
Primary School Students: Free.
Further Details: Click here on www.upperchurch.ie.
Trees - (Poetry by Alfred Joyce Kilmer.)
“I think that I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest, against the sweet earth’s flowing breast.
A tree that looks at God all day and lifts her leafy arms to pray.
A tree that may in summer wear, a nest of robins in her hair.
Upon whose bosom snow has lain, who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”
Tree Day, October 11th next, is an annual event, not just in Thurles, but on the whole island of Ireland, and is now enjoying its sixteenth year. It is one day in the primary school curriculum which is exclusively devoted to the study and direct experience of trees. All 3,200 primary schools across Ireland are encouraged to put away their school books for this day and learn about trees and the environment in general in a fun, relaxed yet stimulating setting.
As already stated, Tree Day will be held this year in all primary schools on Thursday, 11th October 2012. The theme for this year’s Tree Day is “Dá mbeadh crainn in ann labhairt” or translated from the Irish “If trees could talk.” Keeping this theme in mind, children, with adults, parents and teachers are invited to explore the fascinating stories, the people and events of local, national and indeed world significance, that a tree growing in their locality may have experienced in its lifetime.
The aim of Tree Day is to create a visual learning experience that will enthuse and enlighten all children, by making them aware of the magic, the beauty and the importance of trees in our local environment.
Note: The event is being organised by the Tree Council of Ireland with the support of the Department of Education and Skills and is sponsored by Tetra Pak, with the support of Avonmore School Milk.
This Tree Day it is hoped that many schools will take the opportunity to participate in guided woodland walks at various locations throughout the country, enabling children to connect directly with nature in an enjoyable and safe way.