The Dublin Magazine [formerly The Dubliner] (Spring 1966-Autumn/Winter 1967)

The Dublin Magazine (Spring 1966) The Dublin Magazine (Autumn-Winter 1967)

The Dublin Magazine (Spring 1966)

Ed. Rivers Carew and Timothy Brownlowl asst. ed,. Gerard O’Flaherty.

Publisher's notice: Dublin Magazine, founded Seaumas O’Sullivan (James Starkey; ‘under his editorship pit quickly became established as one of the world’s leading magazines of its kind’, continued till his death in 1958; deeply appreciative of the kindness of Mrs E. F. Starkey in agreeing that our magazine should take the name of its distinguished predecessor’.

Editorial, quotes Thomas Davis: ‘Make Ireland a nation and you will do more for national art than if you mortgaged your estates for pictures and turned your own halls into drawing school. Make Ireland a nation and the Irish artist will feel himself a partner in your toils, your ambition and your renown; he will be nourished upon great sights and thoughts of liberated people - he will be surround by men vying in nationality and worshipful of national genius. He will dedicate that genius to honour the influence that inspired it. (Source not stated). The editor comments: alas for Davis’s hopes! ... from the cultural point of view Ireland is a disgrace (p.5). Further, quotes W. B. Yeats at the Thomas Davis Commemoration in 1914: ‘In Ireland above all nations, where we have so man bitter divisions, it is necessary to keep always unbroken the truce of the Muses.’ (p.6)

Timothy Brownlow, ‘April 1966’ [poem], in pp.33-34: ‘Once Ireland gained her freedom, Davis wrote,/The arts would flourish; many a new throat / Would sing the legendary song/Which had been absent for so long. / But tongues which Parnell gave a cause to wag/Till hatred bit each hand that fed / Proved Goethe’s wisdom when he said / The Irish always hunt a noble stag’ (p.34; used epigraphically supra); also ‘Aghadoe’, 6 quatrain stanzas, p.66.

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Monk Gibbon, ‘Murder in Portobello Barracks’, from Inglorious Soldier [to appear from Hutchinson in autumn], pp.8-32.

Brendan Kennelly, a well-made short poem on Joseph Mary Plunkett’s marriage to Grace Gifford, p.35

Rivers Carew, Two sonnets: ‘Florence from Fiesole’, and ‘The Mediterranean’ (p.36).

Michael Longley, ‘Dr Johnson on the Hebrides’ ending, ‘His downcast eyes, riding out the brainstorm,/His weatherproof enormous head at home.’ (p.37) Also Eavan Boland, ‘Shakepeare’. Oddly enough, both these poems have the word sycophant in the first line. (p.37)

Seamus Heaney, ‘The Peninsula’, and ‘Gate’ [poems] (p.38).

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Padraic Colum, ‘Thomas MacDonagh and his Poetry’, pp.39-45; speaks of ‘a quality of reconcilation that is haunting in his poetry’; records their acquaintance and his indebtedness for the title of Wild Earth. ‘I met him at a time - it is more eary for me to define it by movement than by chronology - when the Gaelic movement was at its most hopeful and its most uplifting. The generous minded of the young men and women who were not of the West British persuasion, belonged to the Gaelic League, and were continually finding ways of expressing their ardour. Literary and musical festivals were igniting the minds that were from all parts of the country and outside it. The young men and women who were to make a drastic change in Irish history were ‘feeling the forces’. Yeats and AE were holding youthful poets to their vocation. Young men wearing kilts were to be met in the streets and in Dublin drawingrooms. Further, Colum met MacDonagh at the hill of Uisneach, sometime around 1906. Note that D. J. O’Donoghue, M. H. Gill are the publishers of MacDonagh’s The Gold Joy (1906), his third booklet. Miss Gavan Duffy ran St Ita’s adjacent to Pearse’s St Endas. (p.41) The Irish Review was named at Colum’s suggestion. Stephens contributed The Charwoman’s Daughter. The review ‘brought him [MacDonagh] out of a scholastic environment. ... He made the poems for ... Songs of Myself’ ... the poems in which MacDonagh discovers himself.’ Further: ‘About the hero of his play When the Dawn is Come he was very serious - he has a poem whose title is in a very high style - "Of the Man of my First Play". (p.42) The people of Cloughjordan indignant at their portraiture in ‘The Upright Man’ (‘The only thing straight in the place was the people’). On "The Stars up in the Air": a translation, but a translation that embodies a mood. The mood is a loneliness that is deeply felt. Ferguson translated this poem but there is no personal mood in his translation. ... Here MacDonagh has achieved that "Irishness" in English verse which he advocated in Literature in Ireland. (p.44) The Yellow Bittern is also in the Irish mode, and perhaps we could regard it as the poet’s admonition to himself as hermit and seminarian.’ Note that elsewhere in the article Colum refers to him thus, but also as , which Colum calls Yellow Bittern Colum adverts to him as ‘hermit and seminarian’, but also as a wit and raconteur- when jogged into it (Dublin Magazine, Spring 1966, p.43, 45).

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Eavan Boland, ‘Aspects of Pearse’, pp.47-53, writes: ‘It is easily secretly to find Pearse’s character unsympathetic ... to feel a well-bred distaste for the efforts of that whole generation, especially Pearse. ... the hyperbolic claims for Irish literature, the mixture of nationalist and religious terminology, and still more the messianism, would seem enbarrassing today. Yet anyone who does not detect the solid achievement through these distortions is open to the charge of moral obstuseness ... a man who’s days were numbered and felt them to be numbered ... he became a self-styled architect (p.47), looking over the blueprints of a nationality which he feared was becoming extinct. / Pearse had a vaast concept of freedom. It penetrated through the categories of political and cultural freedom to the liberation of the personality itself.’ Further, ‘The English are too wise a people to attempt to educate the Irish in any worthy sense. As well expect them to arm us.’ On the inculcation of patriotism in the pupils of St Enda’s: ‘I do not mean that we have ever carried on anything ike a political or revolutionay propaganda among the boys but simply that we have always allowed them to feel that no on can finely live who hoards life too jealously, that one must be generous in the service and withal joyous,accounting even supreme sacrifice slight.’ [idem.; for more,see under Patrick Pearse, Rx.]

Derek Mahon, poem, ‘Canadian Pacific’, a poem on emigrants.

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Brendan Kennelly, ‘The Poetry of Joseph Plunkett’, 56-65. ... we should remember he had a unique visionary intensity; that some of his best poetry is born out of deep inner conflict; that he was concerned with the problems of good and evil in a way that Pearse and MacDonagh were not; and that occasionally, despite all his uncertainties, he speaks with a mystic’s certainty, insight and authority. (p.56) ... tension between the sense of his own greatest and the sense of his own littleness runs through ‘Occulta’, the first section of his Collected Poems. ... frequently confused and obscure, but one feels that this is so because his mystical experiences overwhelm his power of articulation ... occasionally ... takes what is essentially a meagre idea and inflates it to fill the sonnet form ... (p.57); His own dream-battle which was to become a grim reality, is symbolic of the struggle between good and evil in the heart of man. Ivz, ‘Heaven and Hell’ (I alone of the souls I know/In Hll and Heaven am high and low ... My song gains power and grows more grim’) (p.58), ‘The Dark Way’ (‘Rougher than Death the road I choose/Yet shall my feet not walk astray/Though dark, my way I shall not loose/For this way is the darkest way ..’) and ‘Spark’ (Because I know the spark/Of God has no eclipse/Now Death and I embark/And sail into the dark/With laughter on our lips.’) (p.59); Probably the deepest single influence on Plunkett is Blake.. [whose] dictum ‘Without contraries there is no progression’ is at the very core of Plunkett’s thought [and] sustains one of his longest poems, ‘Heaven is Hell’ ... ‘I See His Blood Upon the Rose’, a poem which has survived the brutalising familiarity of many anthologies ... (p.60) love poems to Grace Gifford ... though passionate, are characteristically quiet; No doubt about his powers: ‘My songs shall see the ruin of the hills,/My songs shall sing the dirges of the stars.’ Tuberculosis and his own political convictions were against his development ... ‘There is no deed I would not dare ... the birth of the martyr meant the death of the poet ... (p.62 END). Note also Kennelly's assertion: the worst of Blake is better than the best of Namby-Pamby Phillip [sic] because Blake's confusion is more indicative of a complex poetic sensibility than Phillips contemptible lucidity. (Dublin Magazine, p.57)

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Geraldine Plunkett [sister of the poet], ‘Joseph Plunkett’, pp.63-65: first poems were nonense poems; started writing patriotic verse at fifteen; effected throughout childhood by ill-health; The Circle and the Sword issued by Maunsel in 1911, and organised by MacDonagh, while he was in Algiers; George Roberts demanded a certain bulk, and a sum towards cost of printing; called Joe; widely read in English poetry, influenced by Donne and Crashaw; often composed a complete poem mentally before he wrote it down and was then unable to alter it; no encouragement as poet until he met MacDonagh in 1911; nearly inseparable; started Theatre of Ireland with Edward Martyn, who paid the producer John MacDonagh; Joe gave the Hardwicke Hall, which belonged to his mother, and Thomas directed; plays ‘other than peasant plays’; theatre ended in 1916, when Martyn tried to carry it on alone; MacDonagh and Prof. Davy Houston asked Joe to take over the Irish Review, then struggling, in spring 1913; he raised money to pay its debts, and produced ten more issues; they also published MacDonagh’s Lyrical Poems and Pearse’s Suantraighe agus Goltraighe. Review ended Nov. 1914, not suppressed under Defence of the Realm Act but ruined by seizure of issue containing ‘Twenty Plain Facts for Irishmen’. Tom Kettle started Peace Committee to resolve 1913 Lockout, co-sec. Joseph Plunkett with Tom Dillon. Present at Rotunda Rink meeting of 1913 which founded Irish Volunteers, a member of Provisional Committee. ‘and from that time he put his mind to doing what he knew he had to do, but he continued to write poetry.’ The book printed after his death was ready for printing before Easter 1916. A big red folder of poems must have been burnt in the GPO.

Michael Longley, ‘Leaving Inishmore’ [‘I shall name this the point of no return’], p.67.

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Derek Mahon, Two Poems, ‘Spring Letter in Winter’, and ‘Recalling Aran’ [‘I clutch the memory still, and I / Have measured everything with it since.’], p.68

Denis Johnston, introduction to The Scythe and the Sunset (1957), first published in Collected Plays, rep. here with two alterations, pp. 69-77. Author styles himself a 'Juvenile civilian internee'; . Refers to O’Casey’s Plough and the Stars, ‘the play of which the title of mine is an obvious parody. ... / Neither in verbiage, plot nor sentiments does this pla of mine presume to bear any relation to its magnificent predecessor. The only point in so titling it lies in the fact that The Plough is essentially a pacificist play ... As a quiet man who, nevertheless, is not pacificist, I cannot accept the fact that, theatrically, Easter Week should remain indefinitely with only an anti-war comment, however fine.’ (p.70) ... in actual fact the women of Ireland, ever since the Maud Gonne ra, have been the most vocal part of its militancy. If I can claim nothing else, I can at least point with some complacency to the fact tht - when it comes to the point - both my women are killers.’ (p.70) Johnston reports the aimiable occupation of his house by Volunteers. Johnston’s notes include amusing remarks on Sir John Maxwell: ‘a soldier who had previously distinguished himself by placing the defences of the Suez Canal on the western bank, I suppose under the mistaken idea that turkey lay in that directio, and who is generally credited with having suppressed the Rising - did not arrive from England until little more than twenty-four hours before the cease-fire, and barely in tim to preside over the least intelligent part of the proceedings - the executions.’ (p.72) Refers to six or seven valiant Cuchulains on Mount St Bridge. On Pearse’s role as President of the Provisional govt’: ‘how he ever got this lethal office, and who, exactly, appointed him (apart from himself) are matters that have never been disclosed.’ (p.73) Johnston goes on to enquire into Pearse’s rank and the response of officers such as de Valera to orders of surrender subscribed by him. He remarks the similarities between Pearse’s idealism and that of his character Tetley. (p.75) ‘It is probable that this contempt [for non-combatant, stay-at-home Volunteers] was more instrumental in driving the Volunteers into action at that time than any political or economic motives.’ (p.75) ‘Whether or not we hold that the actual fighting was widespread or of first-rate quality, we must agree that the affair, on the whole, was a humane (p.75) and well-intentioned peace of gallantry.’ He concludes - and generalises - that outside the theatre men act for reasons of ‘face’ rathrer than logical motives, generally more energy playing the other man’s game than his own.

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Geoffrey Sutton, poem: ‘At Santa Monica’, on surfers and their girls [‘but the power that vibrates passion through their baords/is lent, not owned.’

Bruce Arnold, review of Aidan Higgins, Langrishe, Go Down. The review entails a clear account of the framework of the novel, and an assessment of its relation to its influences which ends in characterising it as ‘a fine, distinguished and powerful novel, highly personal in content and form, rich in evocation of the countryside of the Liffey Valley, and containing memorable combination of ttwo characters, lovers, who are approached by the author in quite different ways, each with equal success, so that they meet, or rather collide, and strike fire from one another.’ The lovers are Imogen Langrishe and the German student Otto Beck, who awakens the sexual appetite of the seedy virgin, one of the dotty sisters of the poor-gentile family, an epitome of her country. ‘It is not a perfect book. The style is obstrusive at times ... occasionally ... the form outruns the content and the tension is lost. But Langrishe, Go Down is an important book. It is a mature, cosmopolitan, yet very Irish.’ (p.79)

Brendan Kennelly, review of Seamus Heaney, Eleven Poems (Festive Publications QUB), and Michael Longley, Ten Poems (Festive Publications QUB).

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Rivers Carew, review of Shotaro Oshima, W. B. Yeats and Japan (Hokuseido Press). quotes Yeats: ‘Climb to our proper dark, that we may trace/The lineaments of a plummet-measured face.’ Section four includes interviews with Yeats (in 1938), Jack Yeats, Lolly Yeats, and Junzo Sato who presented Yeats with a samurai sword. (p.81).

Gerard O’Flaherty, review of Jack Dalton and Clive Hart, Twelve and a Tilly; concludes, ‘many people regard the Wake as Joyce’s ‘Fruedful mistake’. The contributors to Twelve &c do very little to make thm think otherwise. (p.83)

Tom MacIntyre, review of Austin Clarke, The Bright Temptation: ‘it’s nothing except Clarke on the subject of love in Ireland. This is a beautiful book. It is tender, witty, savage, sad: technically the author’s control of his material is complete ... published in 1932. Read it, brood on it, look down the 1966 road - and tell me, friend, if you heart is not badly shaken.’ (p.83)

Eavan Boland, review of works on and by WH Auden (p.4-85).

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Christopher Salvesen, review of Anthony Burgess, Here Comes Everybody. Reviewer speaks of Joyce’s ‘elephantine pedant[ry] - an Eliot coinage - and says that the real difficulties with Joyce as a combination of Teutonic philologising and Celtic pattern-making, producing what he calls ‘Kellification’.

Anthony Glavin, review of Louis MacNeice, Varieties of Parable (CUP [1965]), being Clark Lectures at Cambridge; MacNeice did not live to revise his lectures for book form; deals with Spenser and Bunyon, Alice books, The Water Babies, novels and plays of William Golding and Samuel Beckett. Also reviews William Golding, The Hot Gates (Faber ?1966).

Timothy Brownlow, review of DES Maxwell and SB Bushrui, ed,. Centenary Essays on the Art of W. B. Yeats (Ibadan UP ?1966); Corinna Salvadori, Yeats and Castiglione Poet and Courtier (Allen Figgis ?1966).

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The Dublin Magazine (Autumn-Winter 1967)

Contents incl. Bruce Arnold, ‘The Confines of Irish Art’, pp.74-79; Padraic Colum, ‘Swift’s Poety', p.5-26; Michael Longley, ‘Colin Middleton’, pp.40-46 [prose comm.], and Eileen Ní Chuilleanain, ‘Acts and Monuments’ [poem].

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[to be completed].