1880-1959; b. Chittagong, India [now in Pakistan]; f. in colonial medical service and friend of Tagor; brought up in Dublin; an Englishman in Bombay civil service, m. 1902; returned Ireland 1906, joined Abbey Theatres second company, appearing as Nell Byrne, &c.; played title role in Fitzmaurices Country Dressmaker (1907); unpublished verse plays, including Scarecrow Over the Corn (Gate 1932); lived at 43 Morehampton Rd., Dublin, where her literary at homes were attended by Kavanagh, Flann OBrien, and others incl. Ernie OMalley; mother of Cecil Salkeld. DIL DIW
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Poetry pamphlets, Hello, Eternity (Elkin Mathews 1933); A Dubliner (Dublin: Gayfield 1942), The Foxs Covert (JM Dent 1935); the engine is left running (Gayfield );
Experiment In Error (Aldington, Kent: Hand & Flower Press ).
Miscellaneous, contrib. extensively to The Dublin Magazine, book reviews, vols. 3-33; and 22 poems, vols. 8-32, incl. Anna Akhmatova following a review of Two Russian Poets (vols. 8&9); contrib. also to Irish Writing, Poetry Ireland, and Ireland Today.
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Katie ODonovan, review of Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, ed., Voices on the Wind, Women Poets of the Celtic Twilight (New Island Books 1995) [poems of Katharine Tynan; Eva Gore-Booth; Susan Mitchell; Nora Chesson Hopper; Ethna Carbery; Dora Sigerson Shorter], 144pp.; comments that Blanaid Salkelds poetry is particularly strong and deserves re-publication.
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Experiment in Error (Aldington Kent, The Hand & Flower Press [n.d.]), 44pp., contains 34 poems, some being sonnets, in modern form and idiom, the last The Woman Gardener [p.31-44] in VIII sections, set in India [O moon above the mandar tree / Running I will give you - see/Rice and milk and crimson silk ..] and ending with peace of dawn, and fair prophecies, a note speaking of our house in Dacca overlooking the sacred Ganges [sometimes hearing] the wild cries of drowning men. Tells of weeping Nunni at their parting, I will never be happy again, memsahib, and quotes Synge (If its ever happy we are, stranger), and Yeats, The good are always merry / Save by an evil chance. She compares the Indian storytellers gift to that of the Irish seanachie, Ive been told that some old illiterate folksingers in the Gaelteacht would not know the meaning of a word taken singly, they apparently acquire thier language in phrases or combinations of words. (p.30). Some titles classical (Arachne), Shakespearean (Miranda), and intellectual (After Reading Either/Or); some lines modernist (mans jungle howl is mostly supersonic ... tonic ... laconic); sentimental backnotes (in the diversionary wind and dew) and theosophical tones (measuring up to a supreme dimension; overleap blind currents of desire), and occasionally Yeatsian (I have told an image all my secrets). Always in or around pentameter. [This edition contains six personal letters to SleB.]
|Delirium from Hello Eternity
Not only Heaven is fair. We may, as well,
Find Hell a genial country, with its rout
Of gipsy angels raising laugh and shout.
Bard Dante made much poetry of Hell.
I see bare crags - white sunblaze, and the spell
Of Heaven gainsayed, a winged form about.
Pride is a godlike quality. No doubt,
The lost have epic history to tell.
If need of native charity be pain, -
And some cold virtue, too, to make our boast:
We'll have discerning palate for that wine -
Strange wine of anguish, cruelty, disdain;
In ultimate glad delirium of the Lost,
Claim easy kinship with the Florentine!
Posted on Facebook by David Wheatley, 30.12.2016.
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Name-sake? Cf. Robert Dwyer Joyce, Blanaid (1879), a poem published the year before her birth and therefore a possible inspiration for her name.
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