The first spoken word festival in Dublin, the Lingo Festival, takes place over this very weekend. The organisers make the claim that Irish spoken word (which I suppose is spoken Hiberno-English) is on a par with any other spoken word on the planet. I'd be in agreement. We have a tendency to transliterate our native tongue into Ang-ul-a-zay, so we do to be sure.
For instance, you will hear an Irishman say "I've a fierce thirst on me" if he's worked up a hankering for a pint of the cool black sour alcopops with the creamy head on it.
This is a transliteration (is that even the right phwackin' word?)* of the Irish "Tá [noun] orm", (which is "is / to be [noun] on me," "there is [whatever] on me". We use prepositions like verbs in Irish. So something is nagging AT our conscience, we have a terrible hunger ON us, blah blah blah, blooh blooh blooh! We do other stuff too. It's not quite as direct as the more germanic Anglo-Sassanaigh peoples speak. One part poetic, one part paddywhackery. So if you have the desire in your head to be sounding like a paddywhackin' Irishman, you'll want to be putting in a few more prepositions than is required for the effect.
No sign of a lack of concision at the event this afternoon. Bern kicked things off with some super music and poetry. I only caught her last piece, a song featuring the River Boyne, plastic paddies, and some terrific lamentations that were both profound and parodic in their patriotism.
|Photo courtesy of Bern.|
Corman Lally performed. His poems were superbly delivered social commentary. One great piece took the Americans to task for claiming Irish heritage - another "plastic paddy" dig, perhaps - through President Obama's discovery of his Moneygall Offaly ancestry.
Clara Rose Thornton is an American in Ireland. A fellow Chicagoan, one hopes that she was not too offended by the Obama-bashing before she took to the stage. Although there was no muffling at the event, she was a clear and confident performer among a soft-spoken bunch, and she has the talent to reinforce her charisma. Clara has a sense of both meter and theatre; her work, absolutely tremenjuss on the page, is even better when seen live. Although there was plenty of humour from the poets, there was little glib about Thornton's work. Just a Show is available to view on Vimeo, to give you an idea of the sorta thing she does. Her poetry added an international element, ending things on a definite and powerful high.
If you can catch any of the Lingofest events in Dublin tonight or tomorrow, go go go!
*No. No, it's not.