“The Emigrant Irish” by Eavan Boland

On March 17th 2012, Ireland is held hostage by an economic meltdown that far from being a catastrophe turns out to be a profit maker if you were wise enough to invest in the right places.

So this poem by the greatest female writer our nation has yet produced seems apposite:

Like oil lamps, we put them out the back,

of our houses, of our minds. We had lights
better than, newer than and then

a time came, this time and now
we need them. Their dread, makeshift example.

They would have thrived on our necessities.
What they survived we could not even live.
By their lights now it is time to
imagine how they stood there, what they stood with,
that their possessions may become our power.

Cardboard. Iron. Their hardships parceled in them.
Patience. Fortitude. Long-suffering
in the bruise-colored dusk of the New World.

And all the old songs. And nothing to lose.

From An Origin Like Water

Your Correspondent, As an Irishman, he can introduce himself to a policeman by saying “Any craic?”