Plays, Poetry and Prose for St. Patrick’s Day

Top o’ da mornin’ to ya!

Ok, I’m going to stop trying to type in an Irish accent.

I missed posting yesterday because my husband and I were in a an all-day meeting which began with me and four other actor friends performing as cats.

Yes, I said CATS.

Moving on…

I wanted to post just a tidbit today in honor of St. Paddy’s Day (we’re all Irish today! – and I am 1/16 Irish every day on my grandmother’s side, though jealous that my lucky hubby is a full half Irish).

If you’re looking for plays written by Irish female playwrights, might I suggest the works of these fine women:

Marina CarrBy the Bog of Cats; The Mai; On Raftery’s Hill

Belinda McKeonFugue and her new novel, Solace

Rosalind HaslettThe Yellow Wallpaper; Gin in a Teacup; The Magpie; Slips; Loose Change

Lucy CaldwellNotes to Future Self; Leaves; Guardians; The Luthier; Carnival

Geraldine AronBar and Ger; A Galway Girl; Same Old Moon; The Donahue Sisters; The Stanley Parkers; Mickey Kannis Caught My Eye

Rosemary JenkinsWhite Star of the North; Basra Boy; The Lemon Tree

Teresa DeevyReapers; The Disciple; Temporal Powers; The King of Spain’s Daughter; Katie Roche; The Wild Goose; Wife to James Whelan

Lady Gregory (Isabella Augusta Persse) – Spreading the News; The Gaol Gate; The Rising of the Moon; The Jackdaw; A Losing Game; Kincora and the White Cockade; Hyacinth Haley; The Doctor in Spite of Himself; The Canavans 

And before I sign off on this day of lucky days, might I leave you with a poem I discovered while doing Ophelia research in grad school. The poem is written in the Irish language by poet and playwright Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Jimin; An Ollphiast Ghranna; Destination Demian), but I have also included the English translation by John Montague. Slán!

An   Bhábóg Bhriste

A   bhábóigín bhriste ins an tobar,
caite isteach ag leanbh ar bhogshodar
anuas le fánaidh, isteach faoi chótaí a mháthar.
Ghlac sé preab in uaigneas an chlapsolais
nuair a léim caipíní na bpúcaí peill chun a bhéil,
nuair a chrom na méaracáin a gceannaibh ina threo
is nuair a chuala sé uaill chiúin ón gceann cait ins an dair.
Ba dhóbair nó go dtitfeadh an t-anam beag as nuair a ghaibh
easóg thar bráid is pataire coinín aici ina béal,
na putóga ar sileadh leis ar fuaid an bhaill
is nuair a dh’eitil an sciathán leathair ins an spéir.

Theith sé go glórach is riamh ó shin
tánn tú mar fhinné síoraí ar an ghoin
ón tsaighead a bhuail a chluais; báite sa láib
t’fhiarshúil phlaisteach oscailte de ló
is d’oíche, chíonn tú an madra rua is a hál
ag teacht go bruac na féithe raithní taobh lena bpluais
is iad ag ól a sáith; tagann an broc chomh maith ann
is níonn a lapaí; sánn sé a shoc san uisce is lá
an phátrúin tagann na daoine is casann siad seacht n-uaire
ar deiseal; le gach casadh caitheann siad cloch san uisce.

Titeann na clocha beaga seo anuas ort.
Titeann, leis, na cnónna ón gcrann coill atá ar dheis
an tobair éireoir reamhar is feasach mar bhreac
beannaithe sa draoib. Tiocfaidh an spideog bhroinndearg
de mhuintir Shúilleabháin is lena heireabaillín
déanfaidh sí leacht meala de uiscí uachtair an tobair
is leacht fola den íochtar, fós ní bheidh corraí asat. Taoi teanntaithe go síoraí ins an láib, do mhuineál tachtaithe
le sreanganna lobelia. Chím do mhílí ag stánadh orm
gan tlás as gach poll snámha, as gach lochán, Ophelia.

The   Broken Doll

O   little broken doll, dropped in the well,
thrown aside by a child, scampering downhill
to hide under the skirts of his mother!
In twilight’s quiet he took sudden fright
as toadstool caps snatched at his tongue,
foxgloves crooked their fingers at him
and from the oak, he heard the owl’s low call.
His little heart almost stopped when a weasel
went by, with a fat young rabbit in its jaws,
loose guts spilling over the grass while
a bat wing flicked across the evening sky.

He rushed away so noisily and ever since
you are a lasting witness to the fairy arrow
that stabbed his ear; stuck in the mud
your plastic eyes squinny open from morning
to night: you see the vixen and her brood
stealing up to lap the ferny swamphole
near their den, the badger loping to wash
his paws, snuff water with his snout. On
Pattern days people parade seven clockwise
rounds; at every turn, throwing in a stone.

Those small stones rain down on you.
The nuts from the hazel tree that grows
to the right of the well also drop down:
you will grow wiser than any blessed trout
in this ooze! The redbreasted robin
of the Sullivans will come to transform
the surface to honey with her quick tail,
churn the depths to blood, but you don’t move.
Bemired, your neck strangled with lobelias,
I see your pallor staring starkly back at me
from every swimming hole, from every pool, Ophelia.

© 1990, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
From: Pharaoh’s Daughter
Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 1990
ISBN: 1852350563
© Translation: 1990, John Montague
From: Pharaoh’s Daughter
Publisher: The Gallery Press, Oldcastle, 1990
ISBN: 1852350563
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About dramachicky

I am a dramachick: a playwright, actress, director, wife, singer, reader, aunt, daughter, student, teacher, and dreamer. My husband has taken to calling me dramachicky. :-) I have my M.A. and M.F.A. in creative writing/playwriting from Wilkes University. My husband and I started a small theatre group in northeast Pennsylvania called Ghostlight Productions. I love all things theatre and I am thrilled to launch this blog as a celebration of women playwrights.
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One Response to Plays, Poetry and Prose for St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Pingback: (Poet) Playwright Spotlight: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill | dramachicks

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