December 2007


From our house to yours…may you have a very Merry Christmas season, and a happy and blessed New Year!

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I don’t have too much to say…it wasn’t nearly as bad as they made it seem like it was going to be. Anyone think that the Weather Channel likes to create drama to gain more viewers? I mean, who really wants to watch the Weather Channel when nothing is going on? Well…I do, but that doesn’t count. I’m a weather geek. But anyway, the wind wasn’t bad, we did get quite a bit of snow, but not nearly as much as predicted (woo hoo!!). And despite the forecast saying it was to be gloomy and dreary today, the sun is shining brightly…at least as I type at this moment. Here are a couple of pictures:

2007 Storm
(I took these out my window, by the way. There is no way in heck I’m going outside on a cold day like this!)
This one is of the front yard…you can see where the kids have already shoveled, and how high the banks are. We were blessed to have a neighbour (who takes care of the cemetery across the road from us) use his tractor to do the portion next to the road. That part was going to be difficult, since the snow plow compacted the snow and made drifts over 3 feet high. So we’re grateful (well, the KIDS are anyway) that he came over and pushed it all out of the way.

This one is the back porch…even though there wasn’t all that much wind, you can still see where the snow drifted. It’s kind of cool!

Snowy Porch

So, it’s over. The Blizzard that really wasn’t (and I’m glad it wasn’t!). But we did get quite a bit of snow…in some areas of the yard, it’s over 3 feet (so sayeth the child that walked around the house after his turn at shoveling this morning). We may not see the grass again until July, but at least all the snow keeps the kids busy, when they are shoveling, and happy, when they are playing in it. See? I can be positive, even when it comes to snow. 😉 Although, if we’re not careful, we might lose a couple in the higher drifts. That might prove to be interesting.

People who want to join the revolution are coming out in droves. It seems that quite a few people in the US want to change what’s going on. As of midnight, the contributions to the Ron Paul campaign totaled less than $100,000. Now, only 12 hours later, the totals are over $2,300,000! And there are 12 hours left in the day. Way to go!

If you want to join in the rEVOLution for change, please take the time to give just a bit to the Ron Paul campaign today. Let’s make a difference and show those Washington bureaucrats what we really want!

Ron Paul 2008 - Hope for America

I was actually going to write a brief post about the weather (ooooo….surprising, isn’t it?). As most of my regular readers may know, I hate the snow and cold with a passion. From the moment the first of the snowflakes fly, I am counting down the days until Spring. This winter (which hasn’t even really started yet if one goes by the calendar…) is no exception…for the most part. Right now, as I type, we have about 2 feet of snow on the ground. Well, it might be more like a foot and a half, but you get the picture. It’s a lot of snow no matter how you measure it. While I’m not terribly fond of this fact, I have come to the conclusion that it’s kind of…ahem….nice at this time of year. It makes things feel really Christmasy or something…especially when you go past houses at night that have their Christmas lights on. It just makes it look that more festive. And, in a way, quite beautiful. So, as of late, I’ve been rather happy with the fact that there is quite a thick blanket of snow on the ground. That is, until now (you knew that other shoe was about to drop…). There is a monster of a storm blowing it’s way across the midwest right this moment, that is preparing to hit us with enough wind and snow to make a bone fide blizzard. Now, let me pause for a second to say something…I lived the vast majority of my life in this area, and I can honestly tell you that I’ve never experienced a blizzard that I can remember. It doesn’t mean we didn’t have one, but while we had tons of snow every year, I don’t remember anyone commenting on it getting there from anything other than a good winter storm. In other words, despite my winter weather experience, I’m not too terribly well versed on the topic of blizzards. And I’d rather not be versed at all, let alone well versed, but it seems that Mother Nature has other plans for me for the next 2 days. Take a look at this lovely map…it shows the precipitation forecast in the Northeastern US:

(the map is now redundant, and doesn’t apply. Phooey I say to weather.com! They should have kept it as it was, humph!)

You see that lovely dark purple area of upstate New York? Yeah…that’s me. Well, not all of it, but right smack in the middle of the dark purple of New York. That area, as you can see, is supposed to get over 12 inches of snow. In other words, dark purple is bad…very bad. There is a such thing as too much, especially when one is speaking of snow. And while I’m more than prepared (we went grocery shopping in anticipation…I have 5 gallons of milk to prove it!), I’d really prefer to just opt out of this one. Anyone know how one goes about doing such a thing?

It really does kind of stink that this lovely winter blow has dashed my feelings of festivity in regards to the winter landscape outside my window. It was nice to actually have a positive outlook on the outside. And with the amount we’re supposed to be getting (at least 18 inches), it’s going to be here until June at least, I’m sure (woo hoo…there’s a positive outlook for you!). Have I mentioned that I hate the snow and cold? Oh yeah, that’s right. I have. And I’m sure I’ll be telling you all that quite a few more times since I’ll be snowed in until July.

Most people that I am acquainted with know that I am not a political person. In fact, they are well aware that I absolutely abhor politics in this country. I feel, for the most part, that voting on the Federal level is useless…our votes don’t mean a whole lot (look at the election of 2000, and recall who won the POPULAR vote), and usually your choices consist of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. In other words, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between candidate A and candidate B (and of course there is never a VIABLE candidate C, D, and so on because our 2 party system doesn’t allow for that…at least at the Presidential level). Because of this, I have found it incredibly difficult to actually vote. I refuse to look at the whole “lesser of two evils” aspect, because there really isn’t a lesser. How can you find the lesser of the two evils when each candidate is just as evil as the other one, albeit in differing ways? Sorry…I just can’t bring myself to do it when presidential elections come around….at least until now. I have finally found a candidate that I actually feel I can morally, ethically and confidently vote for, and that candidate is Ron Paul (yes, that is clickable, and I urge anyone who is tired of the same old, same old to click it and find out what Ron Paul is all about…I promise you won’t be sorry you did). Yes, he is against the war in Iraq (an issue that I agree with him on wholeheartedly), and that is his primary issue right now, with good cause. Here is a quote from his website on his views concerning this very important issue:

The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again.

Both Jefferson and Washington warned us about entangling ourselves in the affairs of other nations. Today, we have troops in 130 countries. We are spread so thin that we have too few troops defending America. And now, there are new calls for a draft of our young men and women.

We can continue to fund and fight no-win police actions around the globe, or we can refocus on securing America and bring the troops home. No war should ever be fought without a declaration of war voted upon by the Congress, as required by the Constitution.

Under no circumstances should the U.S. again go to war as the result of a resolution that comes from an unelected, foreign body, such as the United Nations.

Too often we give foreign aid and intervene on behalf of governments that are despised. Then, we become despised. Too often we have supported those who turn on us, like the Kosovars who aid Islamic terrorists, or the Afghan jihadists themselves, and their friend Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price.

At the same time, we must not isolate ourselves. The generosity of the American people has been felt around the globe. Many have thanked God for it, in many languages. Let us have a strong America, conducting open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.

But this issue, while essential, is not the only issue that he believes in. He is also very pro-homeschooling (an issue that I am obviously very concerned with as well):

My commitment to ensuring home schooling remains a practical alternative for American families is unmatched by any Presidential candidate.

Returning control of education to parents is the centerpiece of my education agenda. As President I will advance tax credits through the Family Education Freedom Act, which reduces taxes to make it easier for parents to home school by allowing them to devote more of their own funds to their children’s education.

I am committed to guaranteeing parity for home school diplomas and advancing equal scholarship consideration for students entering college from a home school environment.

We must have permanency in the Department of Defense Home School Tier 1 Pilot Program, providing recruitment status parity for home school graduates. I will use my authority to prevent the Department of Education from regulating home school activities.

I will veto any legislation that creates national standards or national testing for home school parents or students. I also believe that, as long as No Child Left Behind remains law, it must include the protections for home schoolers included in sec. 9506 (enshrining home schoolers’ rights) and 9527 (guaranteeing no national curriculum).

Federal monies must never be used to undermine the rights of homeschooling parents. I will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to encourage a culture of educational freedom throughout the nation.

as well as Debt and Taxes:

Working Americans like lower taxes. So do I. Lower taxes benefit all of us, creating jobs and allowing us to make more decisions for ourselves about our lives.

Whether a tax cut reduces a single mother’s payroll taxes by $40 a month or allows a business owner to save thousands in capital gains taxes and hire more employees, that tax cut is a good thing. Lower taxes allow more spending, saving, and investing which helps the economy — that means all of us.

Real conservatives have always supported low taxes and low spending.

But today, too many politicians and lobbyists are spending America into ruin. We are nine trillion dollars in debt as a nation. Our mounting government debt endangers the financial future of our children and grandchildren. If we don’t cut spending now, higher taxes and economic disaster will be in their future — and yours.

In addition, the Federal Reserve, our central bank, fosters runaway debt by increasing the money supply — making each dollar in your pocket worth less. The Fed is a private bank run by unelected officials who are not required to be open or accountable to “we the people.”

Worse, our economy and our very independence as a nation is increasingly in the hands of foreign governments such as China and Saudi Arabia, because their central banks also finance our runaway spending.

We cannot continue to allow private banks, wasteful agencies, lobbyists, corporations on welfare, and governments collecting foreign aid to dictate the size of our ballooning budget. We need a new method to prioritize our spending. It’s called the Constitution of the United States.

Of course, this isn’t all…there is so much more to his campaign that I feel would benefit this country far more than the past few administrations have. And I am not the only one who feels this way. On November 5th (remember, remember….), supporters of Ron Paul raised a record breaking $4.3 million in a 24 hour period. And this was from real people…not corporations, or lobbyists, or interest groups. His supporters are comprised of people, like you and me, who are sick of the status quo and really want to affect change in our government. You can go here to see what people are saying. This country needs a change, and I believe…with every ounce of my anti-political heart…that Ron Paul is the guy who can, and more importantly WILL, do it.

So why the topic of my post? What’s the deal with this Tea Party? Here’s where you all, my readers, come in. I am asking you to visit Ron Paul’s website, and find out more about the candidate that is making headlines with his grass roots support….read REAL PEOPLE support. Then I urge you to make a real difference…on November 5th, as I stated above, Ron Paul supporters made history with their grass roots support of a candidate they knew they could believe in. On December 16th, we are asking for your support again…we are asking you to help us make history again. On December 16th 1773, the Colonists protested an oppressive tax by dumping vast amounts of tea into Boston Harbor. This December 16th, American citizens will dump millions of dollars into the Ron Paul presidential campaign to protest the oppressive and unconstitutional inflation tax – which has enabled a flawed foreign policy, a costly war and the sacrificing of our liberties here at home. It is only with help from people like you and me that Dr. Paul will be able to make it happen. We did it once, and we can make history again. And maybe, just maybe, help a candidate that actually wants to affect good change in this country win the primaries and go on to win the White House. It’s a long shot, but by working together we can do it, and in the process make this country far better than it has been in quite some time. I urge you to go here: Tea Party ’07 and on December 16th help in any way you can. Please…it’s time for change. It’s time to get rid of the status quo. It’s time to start a Revolution.

I hate the telephone. It’s one of those “necessities of life” that I wish my life did not necessitate. I cringe when it rings, and cringe even more when it is I that has to answer it. I would even go so far as to pull a “Mr Izz” and chuck the darn thing out the window (technology be damned! HA!), if I didn’t need it hooked up for emergencies…like my mother in law calling to say she is on her way over (where is that picture of “The Scream” I posted a while ago?).

Now, having said all of that, there are times I don’t mind having a phone. I have been known to actually call people…to CHAT (yes, I do tend to be a bit anti-social…thank you for noticing)!! It doesn’t happen often, as long distance friends and family can attest, but it does indeed happen. Also, I am blessed with one of the quietest phones on the planet. I have been to peoples’ houses where their phone rings incessantly…I’m lucky (lucky!…snort!) if mine rings more than twice a day. For that I am truly grateful. And really, about twice a day is the norm. Usually. Most of the time. But not yesterday. Yesterday was like living in Grand Central Station, with my phone ringing off the hook…my poor phone almost went into shock with all the activity! Amazingly, the umpteen phone calls I received were primarily from the same number (I really do love Caller-ID!). Whom, you might ask, would call me over and over again…forcing me into a temporary state of madness? If you guessed TELEMARKETERS, you’d be absolutely correct. Telemarketers are the bane of my existence, and a goodly portion of why I hate the telephone to begin with. I am a busy person, and I really do not have time to attempt to tell someone trying to sell me something that I am not interested, especially when you know they aren’t going to listen and keep going with their lovely little sales pitch anyway. My problem is that I’m not rude enough to just hang up (perhaps smart enough would be better?)…I always feel badly because I know they are just doing their jobs. So I listen and say I’m not interested…listen some more, and say I’m not interested…listen some more; it goes on and on. After about 15 minutes or so, the person on the other end usually gets the idea that I’m really not interested, and promptly hangs up on me (talk about rude!!). 15 minutes of wasted time on both our parts. Typically, this scenario isn’t the one that plays out, though, because with Caller-ID (have I mentioned how much I love Caller-ID?), I always have a good idea when it’s a telelmarketer and just don’t answer. 15 minutes saved is 15 minutes earned…or something like that. And since they only call once, maybe twice, it only is a nuisance for about a minute until they finally hang up. Until yesterday, that is.

The day started like it always does: breakfast, clean up, then school. The first call came around 9am as we were starting Math. I looked at the Caller-ID, just in case it was someone important….let me clarify that part a bit here. Most people know I homeschool, so they don’t call during school hours unless it’s important. Got it? Good…it ended up being my mother, so I answered thinking something was up. I was met with “I called the other night, and you were out to dinner with Mr Izz (no she doesn’t really call him that 😉 )!!!! What’s wrong?? (rolling eyes….) I’d go there and explain all of that, but really, I just don’t want to right now….back to my story.

I got off the phone with her, and back to the Math lesson, and the phone rings again. This time it was a number I didn’t recognise, so I didn’t answer. This first call was only the beginning…I was interrupted at least 5 times during the course of morning lessons. I did answer a couple of times, mostly because since I wasn’t totally sure it was a telemarketer since it was only a number I was unfamiliar with…I started to panic a bit thinking that the sheer number of calls in a relatively short amount of time must mean some sort of emergency. But the couple of times I did answer, I was met with the characteristic “silence” for a few seconds. As soon as I hear that with any call, I hang up for it’s a safe bet it’s a call I don’t want to deal with.

By the time we went through afternoon lessons and dinner, we’d had about 5 more calls from that same number. Now I’m livid, and if I had one of those blasted operators in front of me, let me just say it wouldn’t be pretty. But since I didn’t have that opportunity, I vowed that the next time they called, they’d get an earful…and when they called during the supper dishes, that is exactly what the woman who called got. She started with her spiel, and I immediately lit into her. I told her that I’ve had a least 10 phone calls from his “company” today alone. I am on the Do Not Call list and since I have never had dealings with this company before, if they call again, I absolutely would report the number. The woman was silent for a second (quite a feat with a telemarketer! I was impressed with myself!), then she proceeded to ask me if I were Sarah So-and-so. I said no, very emphatically I might add, and she then asked if Sarah So-and-so lived here at my residence. I again said no, to which she responded in a very mock sappy, and very rude sounding voice: “Greeeaaaaat! That’s all we needed to know! You have a greeeaaaat day!!” and then she hung up. Her attitude was deplorable, in my opinion. I realise this is her job, but people should know whether or not the company they work for engage in questionable tactics or not if they expect people to treat them with respect. Harassment…and that is exactly what this was…is not correct for any reason. I had every right to be irate, and if you don’t want to deal with irritated people, don’t work for a company who knowingly engages in such practises. In my opinion, I was far too nice. I really cannot understand why they are allowed to behave like this…but anyway…

I will say that my irritation seems to have paid off thus far…no phone calls today! Deo Gratias! I really do hope this trend continues. I really don’t want to deal with the continual ringing again…it may just result in a telephone flying out the window.

First off, what does “Literary Grave Sites” mean? No, I’m not talking about grave-sites that you find in literature…I’m talking about grave sites of literary people; poets, authors, and the like. You know, the people who write, not those that are written about, unless it’s biographical. These are the grave sites…from a literary standpoint…that I want someday to visit.

Next, I know that writing about my the top 5 graves that I want to visit seems rather morbid, and many of you more than likely don’t understand why I’d want to visit these grave sites, but rest assured I’m not too terribly mad. “Pilgrimages” of a sort are very common in this way…you go to a person’s gravesite to pay your respects and, in my case, homage. Each of the people I have listed here hold a very special place in my heart…literarily speaking. It is my hope that I am able to visit these gravesites before I am finally living in my own. So here we go…Izzy’s list of 5 literary gravesites that I want to someday see, in descending order.

5) In Arbor Hill Cemetery, in Dublin, there is a gravesite devoted to the revolutionaries of the 1916 Easter Uprising. Now, why, you might ask, would I include this in my top 5? What does it have to do with the literary world? First, if you look at my Poetry links in my blogroll, you will notice the name Joseph Mary Plunkett. His poetry is absolutely beautiful, and some of my favourites. He is buried here, along with 13 other brave men that willingly were executed in their attempt to gain freedom from the Crown.

Gravesite of the 1916 Revolutionaries

And since this is Literary grave sites, I probably should include poetry or something written by each person, right? Here is a poem that Joseph Mary Plunkett wrote for the love of his life, Grace Gifford. He wrote it on the morning of her Baptism, April 7th, 1916. And a bit more background…Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford were wed on May 4th, 1916…only 2 hours before Joseph was executed by British forces for his role in the Easter Uprising. It is truly one of the most beautiful love stories ever…and the best part is that it’s true.

The powerful words that from my heart
Alive and throbbing leap and sing
Shall bind the dragon’s jaws apart
Or bring you back a vanished spring;
They shall unseal and seal again
The fount of wisdom’s awful flow,
So this one guerdon they shall gain
That your wild beauty still they show.

The joy of Spring leaps from your eyes,
The strength of dragons in your hair,
In your young soul we still surprise
The secret wisdom flowing there;
But never word shall speak or sing
Inadequate music where above
Your burning heart now spreads its wing
In the wild beauty of your Love.

4) In the same gravesite as Joseph Mary Plunkett, you will find Pádraic Pearse…a poet in his own right, and a wonderful one at that. Here is his poem Christmas 1915…the Christmas before the Easter Uprising. Very short, but very wonderful:

O King that was born
To set bondsmen free,

In the coming battle,
Help thy Gael!

As I stated previously, he was also buried in the gravesite that Joseph Mary Plunkett was buried, but here is his name I am assuming on the site itself (found at www.findagrave.com…and I am assuming it’s on the actual site because I have never been there, hence this post):

Pádraic Pearse’s grave marker

3) One of my literary heroines…Jane Austen. Her writings were what forged my love of English Literature. I know I’ve said it before, but I want to be Jane Austen when I grow up. Jane Austen died on July 18, 1817 at the age of 41. Two days later she was buried in Winchester Cathedral at Winchester in Hampshire, England.

Jane Austen’s gravestone

Most people know of Jane Austen’s literary works, which typically comprise of novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but many of these same people were unaware that she was also a poet. Here is an example of her poetry, written because her friend, Martha Lloyd, could not come to visit because Mr. Best would not take her. It shows a side that wasn’t always as prevalent in her writings…her wit:

Oh! Mr. Best, you’re very bad
And all the world shall know it;
Your base behaviour shall be sung
By me, a tunefull Poet.–

You used to go to Harrowgate
Each summer as it came,
And why I pray should you refuse
To go this year the same?–

The way’s as plain, the road’s as smooth,
The Posting not increased;
You’re scarcely stouter than you were,
Not younger Sir at least.–

If e’er the waters were of use
Why now their use forego?
You may not live another year,
All’s mortal here below.–

It is your duty Mr Best
To give your health repair.
Vain else your Richard’s pills will be,
And vain your Consort’s care.

But yet a nobler Duty calls
You now towards the North.
Arise ennobled–as Escort
Of Martha Lloyd stand forth.

She wants your aid–she honours you
With a distinguished call.
Stand forth to be the friend of her
Who is the friend of all.–

Take her, and wonder at your luck,
In having such a Trust.
Her converse sensible and sweet
Will banish heat and dust.–

So short she’ll make the journey seem
You’ll bid the Chaise stand still.
T’will be like driving at full speed
From Newb’ry to Speen hill.–

Convey her safe to Morton’s wife
And I’ll forget the past,
And write some verses in your praise
As finely and as fast.

But if you still refuse to go
I’ll never let your rest,
Buy haunt you with reproachful song
Oh! wicked Mr. Best!–

J.A
Clifton 1806

2) This is one of my absolute favourites…he’s in my top 2 poets and literary authors, second only to William Butler Yeats. Oscar Wilde. One day…and you can quote me on this…I am going to get to Paris, put on my very best bright red lipstick, and add my lip marks along side of other fanatical fans. Here is a poem he wrote for Keats…called “The Grave of Keats”. It seemed rather appropriate:

RID of the world’s injustice, and his pain,
He rests at last beneath God’s veil of blue:
Taken from life when life and love were new
The youngest of the martyrs here is lain,
Fair as Sebastian, and as early slain.
No cypress shades his grave, no funeral yew,
But gentle violets weeping with the dew
Weave on his bones an ever-blossoming chain.
O proudest heart that broke for misery!
O sweetest lips since those of Mitylene!
O poet-painter of our English Land!
Thy name was writ in water——it shall stand:
And tears like mine will keep thy memory green,
As Isabella did her Basil-tree.

This picture is rather nice…I nicked it from a friend’s website of pictures. You see all those kiss marks? Uh huh….mine is going to be there. Just you wait.

Oscar Wilde’s gravesite

and last, but surely never least…

1) William Butler Yeats. His writings, by far, have to be my favourite of all time. His poetry is one of those things that inspire me to no end…whenever I’m feeling down, I just pick up a book of his writings, and lose myself for as long as the children will allow me to (which isn’t usually too long…). He is buried in Drumecliff, Co. Sligo, Ireland. I fully intend, when I do finally get to Ireland, to lay upon his grave in the hopes that some of his poetic talent will somehow magically float up to the surface and infuse itself into the creative portion of my brain.

W.B. Yeats’ gravesite

His epitaph comes from the last 3 lines of his poem, “Under Ben Bulben”…which means it’s only appropriate to quote that poem here:

I

Swear by what the sages spoke
Round the Mareotic Lake
That the Witch of Atlas knew,
Spoke and set the cocks a-crow.

Swear by those horsemen, by those women
Complexion and form prove superhuman,
That pale, long-visaged company
That air in immortality
Completeness of their passions won;
Now they ride the wintry dawn
Where Ben Bulben sets the scene.

Here’s the gist of what they mean.

II

Many times man lives and dies
Between his two eternities,
That of race and that of soul,
And ancient Ireland knew it all.
Whether man die in his bed
Or the rifle knocks him dead,
A brief parting from those dear
Is the worst man has to fear.
Though grave-diggers’ toil is long,
Sharp their spades, their muscles strong.
They but thrust their buried men
Back in the human mind again.

III

You that Mitchel’s prayer have heard,
‘Send war in our time, O Lord!’
Know that when all words are said
And a man is fighting mad,
Something drops from eyes long blind,
He completes his partial mind,
For an instant stands at ease,
Laughs aloud, his heart at peace.
Even the wisest man grows tense
With some sort of violence
Before he can accomplish fate,
Know his work or choose his mate.

IV

Poet and sculptor, do the work,
Nor let the modish painter shirk
What his great forefathers did.
Bring the soul of man to God,
Make him fill the cradles right.

Measurement began our might:
Forms a stark Egyptian thought,
Forms that gentler phidias wrought.
Michael Angelo left a proof
On the Sistine Chapel roof,
Where but half-awakened Adam
Can disturb globe-trotting Madam
Till her bowels are in heat,
proof that there’s a purpose set
Before the secret working mind:
Profane perfection of mankind.

Quattrocento put in paint
On backgrounds for a God or Saint
Gardens where a soul’s at ease;
Where everything that meets the eye,
Flowers and grass and cloudless sky,
Resemble forms that are or seem
When sleepers wake and yet still dream.
And when it’s vanished still declare,
With only bed and bedstead there,
That heavens had opened.
Gyres run on;
When that greater dream had gone
Calvert and Wilson, Blake and Claude,
Prepared a rest for the people of God,
Palmer’s phrase, but after that
Confusion fell upon our thought.

V

Irish poets, earn your trade,
Sing whatever is well made,
Scorn the sort now growing up
All out of shape from toe to top,
Their unremembering hearts and heads
Base-born products of base beds.
Sing the peasantry, and then
Hard-riding country gentlemen,
The holiness of monks, and after
Porter-drinkers’ randy laughter;
Sing the lords and ladies gay
That were beaten into the clay
Through seven heroic centuries;
Cast your mind on other days
That we in coming days may be
Still the indomitable Irishry.

VI

Under bare Ben Bulben’s head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago, a church stands near,
By the road an ancient cross.

No marble, no conventional phrase;
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:

Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!

So there you have it! Izzy’s Top 5: Literary Grave Sites. Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to chronicle when I do finally visit each of these places. But until then, I’ll just have to content myself with wishing…