Tag Archives: WB Yeats


Reading From Book of Dark Blue
after Leo Varadkar, WB Yeats, and Enda Kenny

We are for the Ireland that rolls
laughing out of its bed every morning, those
whose national anthem is the alarm
clock exploding on the bedside locker and it still dark;

who, even August bank holidays, are
in the shed before five a.m.
fashioning origami former Garda
commissioners, or writing violin concertos in praise
of the Little Sisters of the Bon Viveur,
Blessed K.T. Whittaker and anyone else
who got up ridiculously early
to make this country what it
allegedly isn’t.

We represent those who know should they fall
up a ladder, or for some other reason –
be it insanity or baldness –
be unable to properly function,
we in government will do nothing
except, if they’re lucky, repeatedly
knee them in the nasty bits.

We whose ancestors have eaten
the still throbbing heart of General O’Duffy
(or at least what we thought was his heart)
now see leaflets tumbling through respectable letter boxes
in which cretin and comedian crow their gutless song,
their arguments a bladder bloated with animal blood.

We say, down the disposal pipe
with all these and their cries
of avarice and failure,
those who engage in wilful wastage of water
by sitting there all day – the jets
fizzing up their crevices –
in Jacuzzis given them
by the tax payer.

Drown them in the tank
and bill them for their own extinction,
for they are weasels who’d drink
of your chickens until they’re dry.

We are for people who look both ways twice
when crossing the road
and remember where they left their keys.

Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins

Pic: General Eoin O’Higgins (Hulton/Getty)

WB Yeats StampCMYK

Launched today.

The An Post W.B Yeats commemorative stamp.

Feargal Purcell writes:

Designed by Irish design company Detail, the stamp is based on an iconic image of the poet from London’s National Portrait Gallery by photographer George C Beresford.

Accompanying the stamp issue is a beautiful First Day Cover (FDC) containing well-loved and remembered lines from the poem ‘Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’.

‘I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.’


Irish Stamps (An Post)


This afternoon.

Yeats’ Cottage (the poet’s childhood home), Howth, Co Dublin.

Damien Dempsey recording a video [to be set in various Dublin locations including the Martello Tower, Sandycove, Co Dublin] for a new song promoting Dublin’s bid to become the  European Capital of Culture in 2010.

The song, which features lines from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Death of Cúchulainn, will be released on Saturday June 13 to coincide with Yeats’ 150th birthday.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)


WB Yeats in 1925, the year of Lily O’Brien’s murder




Flo writes:

Just finished reading a recent book about Willie Yeats which casts him in a very different (or perhaps not so different?) light from the heartbroken lover/borderline stalker of Maud Gonne.

Who Killed Honor Bright? How William B Yeats and George Yeats Caused the Fall of the Irish Free State”  explores the unsolved murder of a woman called Lily O’Neill, shot dead near Lamb Doyle’s pub in Dublin in 1925.

Following her death Lily was identified as a prostitute who, under the alias ‘Honor Bright’, worked the Stephen’s Green beat outside the Shelbourne [Hotel]. Garda Superintendent (Leo Dillon and Doctor Pat Purcell were subsequently tried for her murder – but acquitted under mysterious circumstances.

Lily left a young son, Kevin O’Neill. Kevin’s daughter Patricia Hughes (the author of the book), says that her father was the son of WB Yeats, whom her grandmother had met while working as the 1920s equivalent of a lap dancer in an unidentified gentleman’s club in Dublin.

Patricia suggests that Lily was murdered by Superintendent Dillon – but as part of a cover-up by the Irish Free State, who, at the behest of the Yeats family, were trying to stop her association with Yeats becoming public. The subsequent public identification of Lily as a prostitute was apparently an attempt to blacken her in the eyes of the public.

WB disappeared from public life for a number of months after the murder. Records of the police investigation – and the subsequent trial – are still not available although it is now more than 90 years since the murder….




In Sligo?

A ‘funding-free’ alternative Yeatsday celebration, you say?

Drumcliffe Tea House right beside the grave of Yeats [Drumcliffe, Co Sligo] are having a birthday party for the 149-year-old dead poet from 3-5pm TODAY.

What’s on offer?

Yeats Cakes! Free chocolate Muffins with Moon and Stars icing! Whiskey Biscuit Cake (also known as WBCake). Free Biros! Silly string! A guy running around shouting out Poetry!

PLUS artist Annie West will be standing around ambushing greeting random passers by with free postcards, “whether they want them or not”.

Annie writes:

“There will be many attempts to raise Yeats from the dead, or at least make him spin in his grave : Misplaced apostrophes. Reckless use of multiple exclamation marks. Misquotes all over the graveyard.
Middle aged scruffy women stepping around graves at Drumcliffe with dainty feet, muttering and arguing about whether Yeats is actually down there or still in France….”

You had us at scruffy.

Drumcliffe Tea House