Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sligo. LITERATURE. Poet W. B. Yeats, Maude Gonne - Notebook, National Library, Dublin

William Butler Yeats and Maude Gonne
Sligo: the Town, and the County
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Yeats, 1865-1939, poet, playwright. teller of tales, philosopher, spent most of his time between Sligo, Dublin, and London. See biography at http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/.  He is still at the forefront of events, this time as a lookback at his work and relationships.
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  • Yeats'  lesser known work, "At the Hawk's Well,", and its evolution into different cultural expressions; and
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  •  a personal relationship.
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Meet the poet, W. B. Yeats, for William Butler Yeats, and "beautiful, brainy feminist Irish revolutionary and object of Yeats' infatuation across five decades...." 
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He is buried at Sligo.
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a.  A lesser known work of Yeats:  "At The Hawk's Well", see this 1918 one-act play, a hybrid of Japanese Noh and other forms, including Celtic myth, see http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40284/At-the-Hawks-Well and the review of its interpretation with dance by Garrett Fisher, at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/arts/music/22fisher.html. Cuchulain comes upon a man who spent half a century at a well seeking its immortality, but the waters are guarded by a guardian, a hawklike woman. Find a 1902 Cuchulain by Lady Gregory, also part of Yeats' circle, at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cuch/
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This particular event cannot be traced to Cuchulain, see google book, Tumult of Images, Essays on WB Yeats and Politics, p.79, ed. Liebregts and Van De Camp. But there are allusions to other legends, easily crossed over .It may be an initiatory rite.

Dry well, leaves, allude, allude.
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Pursue the Noh influence on Yeats, Apparently it was Ezra Pound who introduced Yeats to the Noh form. Yeats then portrayed a part of the Cuchulain saga, mythical Irish hero, using the strict stylistic and formal movements of Noh. Cuchulain: Cuh-hool-in, with a gutteral "h", see http://adminstaff.vassar.edu/sttaylor/Cooley/pronunciation.html
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b. Complex personal life.
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The relationship Yeats wanted with Maude Gonne of Sligo (she did not reciprocate in the same way, see http://www.answers.com/topic/william-butler-yeats) lives on. Even after Ms. Gonne's husband died, she turned down his proposal, he proposed to her daughter and was also turned down, and then married Miss George Hyde-Less, http://www.notablebiographies.com/We-Z/Yeats-William-Butler.html; or Hyde Lees. Life, complexities, how can you keep from reading.
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Recent: July 20, 2008.
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See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/arts/design/20dwye.html?scp=1&sq=July%2020,%202008%20Yeats&st=cse#.  New York Times article,  "Yeats Meets the Digital Age, Full of Passionate Intensity." 
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Gonne had given him a particular white notebook in 1908. Yeats kept entries of their mystical-type (apparently not focused on bedding) relationship, interests in the "occult" and each as to the other. The exhibit is a large one, this notebook of Yeats' only a small part. And there are some 38 yards of shelving with notes and papers. Time to go back
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 See also article regarding his uncommon marriage, there listed to Georgie Hyde Lees (this by way of update) see http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2011/0319/1224292565841.html. She was 24, he was 52.
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As to Maud Gonne, read of the visions, reported to the other, desire, letters taped into it as well, it is on display at the National Library in Dublin - a single page displayed, pristine, and the rest digitally reproduced so the viewer can tap through.
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There was a similar display at the Louvre a few years ago, with Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks - a room of computers around the periphery of the dark room, and people exploring and so quiet. Perhaps the Library in Dublin has set a similar reverential place for the muse.
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We read that there are intimate spaces for film viewing, tapes of readers aloud.

Yeats - A man of many aspects:
  • spoke against the ban on divorce,
  • was a member of Irish Senate, noting that many of Ireland's greatest were Protestant.
Again, back to Maude Gonne - he wrote a play for her to act as lead, "The Countess Kathleen," but Gonne would not take part. There are many twists to her life.  It is a pity that her large house at Coole is gone, the plae is now a park.


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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sligo, Lough Gill, Innisfree, Yeats, County Sligo

Sligo, Lough Gill, Innisfree, Parke's Castle

Sligo, Ireland, Lough Gill, Parke's Castle

Parke's Castle (1609) on Lough Gill, looks over The Isle of Innisfree. Hear Celtic Woman, Orla, singing about it with her harp: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2006/072006/07272006/209192.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree is the subject of W.B.Yeats' poem -  "I will arise now, and go there...." Read it in its entirety at Bartleby - http://www.bartleby.com/103/44.html.  The Lough is partially in County Sligo, and partially in County Leitrim.  We understand that the Castle is in County Leitrim.

Parke's Castle as it is seen now dates from the 17th Century, but this area has a long history. This account fails to note the role of the Gregorian Reforms as to the Irish Church in facilitating the invasion of the English (who then never left), but the outline is as follows, related to Lough Gill:

700's -- Clan of Ui Ruairc (later O'Rourke) are descended from a King of Connacht.  The Kingdom of Breifne, was located on borders of Connacht, Leinster and Ulster, see map at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ruairc/ocastle.htm

In 1054, the Roman branch of the Christian Church split from the Eastern Orthodox, over a "filioque" clause in liturgy, and because the Orthodox did not recognize the Pope as Primary, First, etc.  Thereafter, the Pope(s) embarked on campaigns theologically and as to property, to establish the new identity of western Christianity as Pope-centered.  In the 1100's, areas that had been traditionally Irish Church local, monasteries with close family ties to those in the area, theologically varying, few rules binding all together, were invaded by the large monastic Orders from the Continent, with Rules, and soon came Bishops and Archbishops and Diocesan organization imposed, with Rome taking jurisdiction.  It was not an easy transition.  Irish Christianity had been long established, see Timeline at http://usna.edu/Users/history/abels/hh315/timeline%20gregorian%20reform.htm

In the late 1000's came the Gregorian Reforms geared to establish this new Church as a militant one, centralized, including formal justification for Crusades, and setting the stage for the Church to aggressively change the world -- a military, killing. See entry 1096-1099 - killing in the name of the church carries no criminal consequence.   See entry at Timeline for 1073:  no more would Christianity withdraw from the world, it would march to establish a rightful order.

Meanwhile, in the 1100's, the King of Breifne, Tiernan O'Rourke, competed with the King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough Kavanagh, to be High King. 

Meanwhile again, King Tiernan's wife was Devorgilla, and she and King Dermot had a two-year affair, the tale tells, on the shores of this very Lough Gill. Other versions say she was abducted,  but willingly. See http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ruairc/ocastle.htm

1166 --  The High Kingship had gone to O'Connor (need to check) and O'Rourke and the "Ostmen" of Dublin (who?) joined forces against Dermot, removing him from the throne.

 Dermot fled to Wales (we thought it was England).  This tale has him returning at that point with the English Strongbow; to get his lands back, and in exchange he would arrange for Strongbow to marry Dermot's daughter, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ruairc/ocastle.htm.  This was the beginning of the invasion of Ireland by the English.  Dermot died 1171, and the English Strongbow took over the kingship of Leinster, itself contrary to Brehon law.

  • Left out of this account:  Pope Adrian, see http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/adrianiv.html,  had wanted to strengthen his church's hold on Ireland, and issued a Bull whereby Henry II (a Norman) of England had permission to invade Ireland as part of the Gregorian Reform for Christian warfare, and in order to serve these ecclesiastical ends. 
  •  Henry, after he was finished with a war in France, met with Dermot, agreed to help(or went on his own to the Pope, see http://www.suite101.com/content/the-life-of-henry-ii-a259431, and authorized Strongbow's invasion, that by derivation had been authorized by the Pope. 
  • But, there was no real basis for the Pope's claim to Ireland at all - a trumped up "Donation of Constantine" did the trick.  One of history's most concealed forgeries, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/133843/Donation-of-Constantine in the sense of not being well known, because it de-legitimizes Henry's claim.

Point as to Lough Gill:  The romance of the Lough led to this very Helen of Troy tale, warring over a stolen woman, deceits. The seeds of the Anglo - Norman invasion of Ireland, right here.

So, the site has been O'Rourke for centuries, this one built in 1609, and others thereafter added. See http://www.of-ireland.info/castles/parkes.html.  Its style is described as a "fortified manor house with stone bawn enclosure."  The courtyard and other areas date from a far eaelier date, 1100's.  That would be the King of Beifne, Tiernan O'Rourke.