12:00 pm

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[Waterford, IRELAND]
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Only in an Irish pub:
A shelf filled
With poetry books.
________

I said yesterday that Ireland comfortably straddles the border of this and other, more rarefied worlds. Those worlds include the realm of the imagination as captured and expressed in literature, poetry and song. In all our encounters with the Irish, they were each of them willing to go the extra mile to help us with our queries. Often walking out the door or down the road to help us on our way. Even simple directions were given as if it were a chance for a bit of storytelling -- "so if you were to go down that road there, you'll see a park with a statue in it of some of the freedom fighters from 'the Troubles' of 1916 who ..." Or such like. So we are almost unsurprised the next evening to go in to a pub for cottage pie and find ourselves sitting besides a book shelf of poetic works by various English language writers. All the great poets are represented. And the books appear to be more than ornament. Try setting something like this up in a pub in Australia or England or elsewhere and you'd be ridiculed. Me? I'm much impressed. This country really is my second home.

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