Friday, March 4, 2011

Parnell Square!!!

It is the World Book Day and I am watching the Dead.
Well not the Dead as such, the third part of a trilogy film based on James Joyce's book called the Dubliners.
But I am in no mood to sit inside in darkness watching the Dead unfold when it is sunny and lively outside.So I sneak out, pretending to go to the toilets and I stepped out in the light.
I stepped out of the Irish Writer's Center.
I stepped out in Dublin.
This is Ireland!
The Country of Poetry, poetry in Irish being the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century.
I am on the steps of the Irish Writer's Center and to my right, there is the Writers' Museums, the restaurant called Chapter One, and nearby on North Great Georges Street, the James Joyce center.
I can't get closer to writing in body and mind.
And I can't get closer to the history of the country.
Parnell Square.
I mean Parnell Square: religion, arts, history, writing, politics and science all squeezed up in one square.
First religion appears striking and wonderful with the Gothic Revival Findlater's Church and arts with the Hugh Lane Gallery then the rest unveils like the winning numbers of a lottery ticket:

No 5 – Birthplace of Oliver St John Gogarty, a friend of Michael Collins and the writers WB Yeats and James Joyce.
No 9 – Living place of Dr Bartholomew Mosse who founded the Rotunda Hospital
No 25 – Gaelic League Building.
No 29 – Formerly Vaughan’s Hotel; a favourite hiding and meeting place for freedom fighter Michael Collins.
No 41 – Formerly the Irish National Forester’s Hall.
No 44 – The Kevin Barry memorial hall is the current headquarters of Sinn Fein.
No 46 – Formerly the Headquarters of Conradh na Gaeilge, the Irish language league.

Yes today I feel I got lucky. I am standing where so many great people stood before me on a day where I can enjoy modern poets talking about older poets and out in the open in this beautiful afternoon unfolding before me is Ireland at its very core, breathing.
Red bricks, Georgian buildings, taxi bursting out with music, cars and buses whizzing by, junkie bikers, old ladies shopping, business woman with smart suit and business case, foreigners and Irish walking, poor and rich crossing by.
All in the sunny crispy March air.
Ireland full of possibilities and Ireland full of disasters:
Dublin made City of Literature by the Unesco this year while down in this very street, the Irish Writer's Center threatening to close in June.

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