Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles

Tag Archives: poetry

Winter Special 2016: Aisling MacConglinne – A Satirical Tale of Extreme Gastronomy

The Midwinter festival has been a time of over indulgence and conspicuous consumption for millenia! This year, we dig in to the Middle Irish story, Aisling MacConglinne, “The Vision of MacConglinne”, a delicious debauch of extreme gastronomy.! Join the Story Archaeologists in a feast of fantastical food, with a generous side order of sumptuous satire. Read the full translated text here! …

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Circling the Tain 01: The Quarrel of the Two Swineherds (or “Where It All Began”)

Welcome to Series 6, “Circling the Tain”. In this series, we will delve into the fascinating web of stories making up the Tain tradition, with the Tain Bó Cúailnge, “The Cattle Raid of Cooley”, at its core. We begin this exploration with the story of two talented swineherds and their shape-shifting,poetic quarrel. Join the Story …

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The Mórrígan Speaks – Her Three Poems

From Cath Maige Tuired, “The Battle of Moytura” Introduction At the end of the Old Irish saga of Cath Maige Tuired, there are three poems attributed to the Mórrígan; one immediately before the main battle, and the other two afterwards, ending the saga as a whole.  These three poems were the main topic of my Masters …

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The Morrigan’s Prophecy

From “the Morrigan’s prophecy” spoken at the close of the battle of Moytura. (based on the translation by Isolde Carmody) Beneath the peaceful heavens lies the land. It rests beneath the bowl of the bright sky. The land lies, itself a dish, a cup of honeyed strength, there, for the taking, offering strength to each There …

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John Barleycorn

John Barleycorn is the titular character of a popular English and Scottish  folk-song,  found in a number of versions  going back, at least, to the sixteenth century. John Barleycorn is given as  the personification of  ‘the nut brown ale’ (or the uisce beatha) and all the process the grain goes through in order to provide the welcome drink.  The …

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Many Shades of Darkness

Irish colour words and concepts In primary school,  I was very confused to learn two different Irish words for “green”: glas and uaithne.  I knew there was a difference, but I wasn’t clear what that difference was.  As my schooling continued, more confusion arose: black people were referred to as daoine gorma, “blue people” (according to the dictionary) and …

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Texts of Ethliu

From Tocmarc Étaine, “The Wooing of Étain” Edited O. Bergin & R. I. Best, Translated with endnotes by Isolde Carmody.  Terms with related notes are in bold. View Bergin & Best’s edition on CELT While this text is included here in relation to “Tales of Eithliu”, we dealt with the whole of Tocmarc Étaíne in 3 episodes in Series 3, “Dindshenchas …

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More Stories of Macha – Revisited

FROM THE METRICAL DINDSHENCHAS VOL 4 edited by Edward Gwynn translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody

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Revisiting Sinann’s Other Poems

From the Metrical Dindshenchas, Volume 4, edited by Edward Gwynn translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody pp 36 – 43: Poems 11 & 12 Note: It may seem hard to believe, but in our podcast episode, Revisiting Sinann, we didn’t jump up and down shouting about the link between Sinann and Mongán! We compared her poetic quest …

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Revisiting the Importance of the Source

When I chose to study Early Irish, the principal reason was so that I could read the Irish stories and poetry that I so loved in their original language.  As a student of literature and philosophy, I knew that translation meant interpretation.  Being both cynical and a control freak, I wanted to remove the filter …

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