A Poem and Some History
by Jeff Salter
Let me begin by saying my closest link to anything Irish is that I used to like the Boston Celtics more than any other NBA team and ‘The Quiet Man’ is one of my favorite movies.
But I’ve known lots of folks with roots in Ireland. One of them – a friend and former colleague – told me a single fact which inspired this poem, below. It’s not my usual jest and pun — in fact, I find it quite poignant.
by Jeffrey L. Salter
Her father still remembered …
and on stormy Saturdays
he would stare through the windows
crooning old, Hibernian ballads
that made his daughters
At a certain age
Colleen no longer allowed
to be sung from her.
But on inclement weekends
her eyes became cloudy
for she could hear
even through her bedroom door.
After his daughters left,
there were still memories …
and other morning showers.
Did Father still sing at the casement
with no one there
Now Daddy is gone
and Colleen remembers:
on rainy Saturday mornings
he would gaze out at grey drizzle
and sing his sad Irish songs
as she and her little sisters
Published: Sunday at Four — Vol. 5 # 3 (Fall 1996)
St. Patrick’s Day
Now a quick word about the day itself. [Borrowed heavily from wiki.answers.com]
St. Patrick (originally Maewyn Succat) was born in Wales in 385 AD … or in Britain in 387 AD. At age 16, Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery. After six years, he escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest and (later) the second Bishop to Ireland.
“He spent 30 years converting pagans to Christianity and established schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. St. Patrick was said to have used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) showing how three separate units could be part of the same body. People began wearing shamrocks on their clothes to his sermons. Green is the most recognizable color during this holiday as it represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.”
The date of St. Patrick’s death (in 461 AD) is uncertain, but tradition places it on March 17th. The holiday came (from Ireland) to America in 1737 and was celebrated in Boston that year. Over 100 U.S. cities have St. Patrick’s Day parades with the biggest one in New York City.
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