St. Patrick’s Day

I like thinking about my Irish roots in March.
Bailey is like Smith is like Jones, eh?

But I snatch my mother’s few stories from my memory
& stir my own recollections. My dear mother
was New Jersey-born, but her grandparents hailed from
the Emerald Isle, I’m told.
My mother made Irish soda bread, or more correctly named,
railway cake, because of her added raisins. She and her
sisters (one of six girls & boys) were religious about
sending St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards, often homemade.
I have asked one cousin, who seems to have
more detail about which part of Ireland our Baileys
immigrated from, for connections because Mom emphasized
my father’s interesting French Huguneout lineage,
& shirked the Irish side of things.

IRISH LITERATURE, edited by Maureen O’Rourke Murphy
& James MacKillop, helps stir the pot. Here are lines of
a poem I like returning to, among several, from this collection.

Emily Dickinson
by Michael Longley
Emily Dickinson, I think of you
Wakening early each morning to write
Dressing with care for the act of poetry.
Yours is always a perfect progress
Through such cluttered rooms to eloquence, delight,
To words – your window on the mystery.

I’ve been considering how writers of some lyrics are
poets, especially when I listen to ballads and other
songs performed live.

"Leaving Connolly Station" CD -  Sligo Line

“Leaving Connolly Station” CD –
Sligo Line

We recently enjoyed a performance of our area’s premier
Irish music group #Sligo Line. Now their lovely CD is headed down the line
to our daughter’s godmother,
Florida-born but Irish through and through.

Happy Luck o’ the Irish & good poetry
reading & writing to you.

The weekly Poetry Friday ceili (dance) & feasta (party)
are hosted by wonderful poet & Haiku Highness
Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle edge. It is
for new participants as well as returning contributors &
just for fun, readers. So take a look.

8 thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Hi Jan! Given my love of Celtic music and culture, you’d think I’d have some ancestry there… but, alas, none that I’m aware of. Especially love this line from Longley: Dressing with care for the act of poetry. That’s how I would like to start each day!


    • Shall we endeavor to put on a hat in the dark each morning before writing?
      Or perhaps fingerless gloves.
      I wonder how much of the dressing in the winter, was purely necessary for
      Let’s give each other a “dressing for poetry” report next time we
      meet up, dear Michelle.
      Happy Spring.


    • Hey there Brenda. I actually feel there are a lot of folks who celebrate
      without the green beer. But, sitting with an old book in your hands
      isn’t as photogenic as the sparkle of emerald color in a clear mug, eh?
      Happy Sring to ya.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got some Ireland buried inside me, too, via the Connor family who (supposedly) dropped the O’ in the ocean! I’d love to time travel back and meet my ancestors!!


  3. It’s lovely to hear about your connections, Jan, and to see what your mother “preferred”. Interesting to imagine the thoughts of heritage in the past, and perhaps now, too. I like the Longley poem, new to me, and his own ideas of Emily: “Dressing with care for the act of poetry.”


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