An File ar Buile - the Mad Poet. Why so? Is writing poetry a form of madness? Or is it therapeutic? Are the ideas in them mad? Or do people just think so? Is it mad to write in Irish Gaelic? Or to translate it? Is it mad to be a Catholic Christian in the 21st century? Or does that question make you mad? Is the poet furious at the insanity in the world? Or is he just contributing his piece to it? Is the poet mad, eccentric, or maybe "just a little bit off?"
It's up to the reader to answer these questions. The poet is content that you think about them. There is a lot to ponder in this book. And there's just plain fun, too!
These 75 Irish language poems, and their English translations, cover a wide range of subjects, from silly parodies to everyday events to historical narrative. They are about personal experiences, and long distant times. They take another, different look at history, and the world we live in. They speak of America, Ireland, Europe, Russia and even Antarctica! Some are about very ordinary things, and some are about world shaking events. They sometimes are about the things you're not supposed to talk about - because we really need to. Modern in outlook and language, they celebrate traditional values, Irish and American. They celebrate heroes, lament tragedy, and laugh at absurdity. They speak clearly, and they look deeply - when they are not just fooling around!
There are 30 photographs inside this book, which often are of places mentioned in the poems. Others just capture the spirit of the poems. All of them were taken by the author.
As an extra bonus, the story of the Gerry Tobin Irish Language School is included in this book!
Except for one poem (For the New Year), which was written for the millennium (2000), these poems were all written between September 2001 and September 2003. A number of them are about the terrible events of September 11th, 2001, and their aftermath. Writing them was a way for me to try to comprehend. All of them are attempts at comprehending the world, at verbalizing those hard to get at emotions and movements of the human spirit, at remembering the important things. They connect with the past, cope with the present, and hope in the future.
The Mad Poet - you never know what he's going to say...
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May 27, 2004
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