Saturday, November 20, 2010
Poetry Night
My friends and I had a poetry night last night!! :) We got together in the Cathedral of Learning around 9 PM, went up to the 36th floor (the Honors College), and took over one of the meeting rooms which overlooks Downtown Pittsburgh. I WISH I had a camera with me so that I could share the view--that's the first time I've ever been in that room at night, and the view is just gorgeous, with all the lights in the city beaming up at you, the buildings downtown towering above the buildings of Oakland. After we recited some poetry (ranging from "Death of a Snowman" to a piece by Edna St. Vincent Millay), we saw the first few minutes of fireworks downtown for Light-Up Night before they kicked us out! Really, the whole view was one of those catches-your-breath type things. Beautiful. :)

Once we got kicked out (about 10 PM), we were going to go find another classroom, but instead we ended up just sitting on the floor in the ground floor of the Cathedral for 2 hours. Mind you, the ground floor of the Cathedral looks vaguely like some mix between a dungeon and a high school from the 50s. It would've been much more picturesque if we sat on the first floor, which can best be described as "Hogwarts." :) But we had a blast!!! At midnight, when 4 of us were still there, we left, but only after a lot of fun, entertaining conversation together. I was tired when I got home, but it was quite a good time, and I don't regret being there for so long!

Anyway, when I was brainstorming poems to bring, there was one particular poem in mind that is near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, I remembered only 5 words at first, and I didn't even remember the 5 RIGHT words, so it took me awhile to find it. Finally, I remembered two more distinctive words, and then I found the poem! :) And because it is so dear to me, this is the poem that I read:


by Patrick Kavanaugh


If you ever go to Dublin town
In a hundred years or so
Inquire for me in Baggot street
and what i was like to know
O he was the queer one
Fol dol the di do
He was a queer one
I tell you

My great-grandmother knew him well,
He asked her to come and call
On him in his flat and she giggled at the thought
Of a young girl's lovely fall.
O he was dangerous,
Fol dol the di do,
He was dangerous,
I tell you.

On Pembroke Road look out for my ghost,
Dishevelled with shoes untied,
Playing through the railings with little children
Whose children have long since died.
O he was a nice man,
Fol do the di do,
He was a nice man
I tell you.

Go into a pub and listen well
If my voice still echoes there,
Ask the men what their grandsires thought
And tell them to answer fair,
O he was eccentric,
Fol do the di do,
He was eccentric
I tell you.

He had the knack of making men feel
As small as they really were
Which meant as great as God had made them
But as males they disliked his air.
O he was a proud one,
Fol do the di do,
He was a proud one
I tell you.

If ever you go to Dublin town
In a hundred years or so
Sniff for my personality,
Is it Vanity's vapour now?
O he was a vain one,
Fol dol the di do,
He was a vain one
I tell you.

I saw his name with a hundred others
In a book in the library,
It said he had never fully achieved
His potentiality.
O he was slothful,
Fol do the di do,
He was slothful
I tell you.

He knew that posterity has no use
For anything but the soul,
The lines that speak the passionate heart,
The spirit that lives alone.
O he was a lone one,
Fol do the di do
Yet he lived happily
I tell you.



Back story to the poem: Last semester, I had an Irish Dominican priest as a professor for Poets and Mystics of the 20th century at 17:30 (5:30 PM) every Tuesday. His name was Fr. Paul Murray, and he has one of the most gentle voices I've ever heard, particularly for poetry. So much so that one person told me that past classes have called his class "Bedtime Stories with Fr. Murray." Well, this was one of our bedtime stories one night. :) For weeks afterwards, I would repeat the "Fol do the di do" in my head in his gentle Irish accent. I was very happy (read: "I think I was actually just entertaining myself") to get to share it with the group yesterday.
posted by Kristin @ 12:56 PM  
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Name: Kristin
Home: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
About Me: Seeking my true Fatherland as I travel this spiritual journey with Our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope, with the help of God, to follow in the example of the saints and strive for holiness.
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