Growing up, I always thought that this was *my* holiday (OK I still do.)You see, I was named after the fair Emerald Island (for real, it wasn't just my mom's wild 1976 whim). In fact, both of her parents were born and raised there, coming to America as teenagers.
I've always been fascinated with Ireland -- even did my senior thesis on a postmodern feminist Irish poet named Nuala NiDhomhnaill, known hor her work in re-interpreting poems of Yeats, other cool Celtic guys, and Irish folklore in general. (I was supposed to interview her during a scheduled presentation at the University of South Carolina, but she had to cancel due to an illness. I was devastated.)
Anyhow, as the aforementioned article states, "Ní Dhomhnaill's poetry portrays women and the postcolonial subject as strong and active, as well as fragile and vulnerable." She writes all of her poems in Celtic, which are translated into English. They are powerful, honest, and raw, which is what we Irish writers know best.
I'm quite proud of my Irish (and Scotch) heritage, and the legacy of words that has been passed down through generations. Irish writers have always had a special place in my heart (and believe it or not, visiting the Dublin Writers Museum in 1996 was even more thrilling to me than the Guinness Brewery). I hope that one day I can go back and spend more time in Ireland, particularly outside the cities. Till then, here's a poem from Nuala NiDhomhnaill:
I place my hope on the water
in this little boat
of the language, the way a body might put
in a basket of intertwined
its underside proofed
with bitumen and pitch,
then set the whole thing down amidst
and the bulrushes by the edge
of a river
only to have it borne hither and thither,
not knowing where it might end up;
in the lap, perhaps,
of some Pharaoh's daughter.
I simply cannot top this, but to raise a glass (Guiness please) to Nuala, and to Ireland.