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Tea with Terence

Not gentians, not the tea room, but Ballyvaughan at dawn, looking across the bay to Galway, the lights so cozy.

The gentians are blooming as we eat lemon cake

In the tearoom called An Féar Gorta

Your home comes to be

Mine for a week 

In sweet Ballyvaughan, County Clare. 


And I'm happy & sad as though Ireland were mine ~

The Burren, the pubs and the sea

You spark & you joke 

While I long for the pie

Of An Féar Gorta, Ballyvaughan.




References to the lovely song "Sweet Ballyvaughan, "Terence's poem "An Féar Gorta" & to his song "When New York Was Irish."

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What I'm reading

It turns out that where we're staying in County Clare, Ballyvaughan, is the home of many cousins of the great poet & musician Terence Winch. His brother will be there at the same time as us, as will Michael Lally's son (or somewhere in the area). Small world!


I'm all set with places to eat & things to do & in passing Terence mentioned a new book by the Irish Times journalist Fintan O'Toole, who is also, Terence tells me, "an amazingly eloquent & perceptive analyst of American politics." I started reading We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland right away & can recommend the hell out it! An Irish novel with facts & footnotes. 


I went online to see what else O'Toole had written & found (along with several titles I'll pick up) no fewer than SIX summaries/study guides to We Don't Know Ourselves. I've never seen the like. Is that because it's over 600 pages? 

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Poem of the —

The wonderful, brilliant, insightful, discerning Terence Winch has chosen a poem of mine for his Best American Poetry blog. I am flattered. Although it's an ancient work, I still like it. And of course please that he does. That brightened a day that started with me mournfully singing "I ain't got a home in this world anymore" & feeling blue. Not no more! 

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Monday Quote

I always thought old age would be a writer's best chance.... Now my memory's gone, all the old fluency's disappeared. I don't write a single sentence without saying to myself, "It's a lie!" So I know I was right. It's the best chance I ever had.
~ Samuel Beckett

All my friends who are older poets feel the same, I would guess.

Terence Winch is writing better than ever, in his sad Irish way, when even a funny poem of his makes you realize how tragic life is.

He's not the only one. Read More 
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