Irish Poetry: Humour, Rhythmn, Ryhme and Reason

Now Delaney had a donkey that everyone admired,
Tempo’rily lazy and permanently tired
A leg at ev’ry corner balancing his head,delaneys donkey
And a tail to let you know which end he wanted to be fed
Riley slyly said “We’ve underrated it, why not train it?”
Then he took a rag
They rubbed it, scrubbed it,
They oiled and embrocated it,
Got it to the post
And when the starter dropped his flag

There was Riley pushing it, shoving it, shushing it
Hogan, Logan and ev’ryone in town lined up
Attacking it and shoving it and smacking it
They might as well have tried to push the Town Hall down
The donkey was eyeing them,
Openly defying them
Winking, blinking and twisting out of place
Riley reversing it,
Ev’rybody cursing it
The day Delaney’s donkey ran the halfmile race.

The muscles of the mighty never known to flinch,
They couldn’t budge the donkey a quarter of an inch
Delaney lay exhausted, hanging round its throat
With a grip just like a Scotchman on a five pound note
Starter, Carter, he lined up with the rest of ’em.
When it saw them, it was willing then
It raced up, braced up, ready for the best of ’em.
They started off to cheer it but it changed its mind again

There was Riley pushing it, shoving it and shushing it
Hogan, Logan and Mary Ann Macgraw,
She started poking it, grabbing it and choking it
It kicked her in the bustle and it laughed “Hee Haw!”laughing ass
The whigs, the conservatives,
Radical superlatives
Libr’rals and tories,
They hurried to the place
Stood there in unity,
Helping the community
The day Delaney’s donkey ran the halfmile race.

The crowd began to cheer it. Then Rafferty, the judge
He came to assist them, but still it wouldn’t budge
The jockey who was riding, little John MacGee,
Was so thoroughly disgusted that he went to have his tea
Hagan, Fagan was students of psychology,
Swore they’d shift it with some dynamite
They bought it, brought it, then without apology
The donkey gave a sneeze and blew the whole lot out of place

There was Riley pushing it, shoving it and shushing it
Hogan, Logan and all the bally crew,
P’lice, and auxil’ary,
The Garrison Artillery
The Second Enniskillen’s and the Life Guards too
They seized it and harried it,
They picked it up and carried it
Cheered it, steered it to the winning place
Then the Bookies drew aside,
They all commited suicide
Well, the day Delaney’s donkey won the halfmile race.

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Once, twice, three times a lady!

My sister, who is a Sistah if you know what I mean, takes offence at the usage of the fwmale powerword lady, to wit: The common use of lady referring to woman is pretentious, bourgeoise, obsequious, euphemious, ignorant and incorrect.  

That statement of facts is a perception, not factual, and is contentious.

Dictionary.com states the origin of the word woman was Old English wīfman, equivalent to wīf female + man

language: a feminist guide states ‘lady’ was the female analogue of ‘lord’, and it can still be a title for the wife or daughter of an aristocrat. But it has undergone a process known as ‘semantic derogation’, where the female term in a male-female pair gets downgraded in status. ‘Lady’ was initially downgraded to apply to bourgeois women as well as aristocrats. Later, it became a polite way to refer to a woman of any social class.

Usage in society changed: formerly ‘woman’ was regarded as demeaning and ‘lady’ was the term of courtesy; now ‘woman’ is the designation preferred by some modern female adults. The word ‘lady has been perceived as a classist tool to divide society.

I remain divided. When I use the word ‘lady’, I do not intend it to convey disrespecwomen are already strongt for a female. However, I would not be respectful if I persisted in addressing my Sistah as a lady, so I will avoid doing so; but I reject her right to require me to do so generically to all women.

That is my choice.

Emily Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward wrote in 1873: Burn up the corsets! … No, nor do you save the whalebones, you will never need whalebones again. Make a bonfire of the cruel steels that have lorded it over your thorax and abdomens for so many years and heave a sigh of relief, for your emancipation I assure you, from this moment has begun.

downloadI can’t fault her viewpoint and admire her radical standpoint. Women are in no way inferior beings and I wholeheartedly support their rights to equal treatment and demands for the removal of impediments to so50 fiftycial, economic and political and any other type of equality they seek.

Womens’ struggle against centuries of cultural domination is justified.

Most men educated in the European norm agree, I am sure. Not sure about African, Arab or Asian men, though.

I did continue but in retrospect, discerned that what I wrote was not respectful, so I cut it out.

cartoon

 

What’s okay?

blank okMost of my readers know me for a delicate, sensitive, if not always sensible sort. I must confess though, that I am given to slightly warm feelings when irked in particular, by banal, inappropriate or feeble utterances.

seeing red

So when I heard a television talking head describing some deed, word, action or inaction which I do not recall, as “not okay”, my hackles rose a tad.

However, being a man of experience and some sagacity, I approached the matter with my usual caution; something whispered in my mind: Beware! Here be dragons!

What did it, was the not okay bit. Not okay was not okay with me: it is banal, bland, fence-sitting, wishy-washy, bunny hugger drivel. It is the other end of the spectrum of revolting language usage from awesome!

Before I slip into full rant mode and start frothing at the keyboard, let me say that I did some research into okay. The word apparently originated in the US (where else?). It was the initials of a facetious folk phonetic spelling abbreviation for ‘orl korrekt’ representing ‘all correct’. It was absorbed into the common usage as a verb, adverb, noun, and interjection and spread worldwide.

It has morphed (not sure about that word either) into one of the English words most utilized in all languages.

I was flabbergasted to discover that 14 September is R U OK? Day.

That nearly set my fuse off too! Just invent a cause and appropriate a day! You can start a website, market merchandise and away you go! Hmpfff!

Just in case you missed it, today is National Chipotle Day – May 5th is dedicated to the chipotle, a smoked, dried jalapeno pepper. I kid you not!

Anyway, back to okay/not okay. R U OK? Day was started by the relatives of people who had committed suicide. Its purpose is to encourage people to check on their loved ones by asking them that simple question. In this context not okay is a sad, terriblok oke and terrifying condition in which to be. I strongly endorse the practice of checking your loved ones’ mental strength. Asking shows you care and provides an opportunity for a release or a cry for help.

What I object to is that the expression not okay has been incorporated to signify anything that may not meet the rapidly replicating rules which require society to behave in such a way as not to miff anyone who might be sensitive about something.   Like, it’s not okay to call some behaviour gay (or a person gay unless he/she is…).

Ever since I saw West Side Story in the 60’s, the word ‘gay’ has been one of my favourite words. ‘Gay’ used to mean cheerful, cheery, merry, jolly, light-hearted, mirthful, jovial, glad, happy, bright, in high spirits, joyful, elated, exuberant, animated, lively, vivacious, buoyant, bouncy, bubbly, perky, effervescent, playful and frolicsome. Now tell me that is not a delightful word!

If you check the lyrics online now, you will find that the word ‘gay’ has been scrubbed from the song and replaced with ‘bright’. Is that okay?

Do the gentle, inoffensive, protectors of those that they think may be easily bruised, have the right to change the language icons of our past, because gay now refers to things homosexual. Why has that lovely word been appropriated for the exclusive use of such an historically fraught set of people?

Granted, buggers was not a nice label, nor was queers or poofs.

Dearie me, I do get easily distracted.

What I want to say is that not okay should not be used when there are many, far more appropriate words such as indelicate, offensive, awful, inappropriate, unacceptable, extraordinary, extreme, bad, abnormal, impolite, unreasonable, bloody rude …oops!

Here is a little guide – hope it helps.

Different-forms-of-saying-Okay

ok in bath