“Well,” replied La Kid, “everything’s fine but I’m running around getting ready to go to the Galway Races. Can you call back tomorrow?”

La Kid‘s outing gives UD an excuse to feature this poem about the event, by Yeats.


Here where the course is,
Delight makes all of the one mind,
The riders upon the galloping horses,
The crowd that closes in behind:
We, too, had good attendance once,
Hearers and hearteners of the work;
Aye, horsemen for companions,
Before the merchant and the clerk
Breathed on the world with timid breath.
Sing on: somewhere at some new moon,
We’ll learn that sleeping is not death,
Hearing the whole earth change its tune,
Its flesh being wild, and it again
Crying aloud as the racecourse is,
And we find hearteners among men
That ride upon horses.

So of course it’s really a complaint; and not too far off from what ol’ UD‘s always on about – it’s easier to excite people with sports events than with poetry (or, to go to the subject of universities, with the thrill of thought about poetry, or thought about anything else worth thinking about). Commercialism and bureaucracy rule now, and you can’t expect timid clerks and merchants to get a charge out of being confronted with challenging aesthetics and metaphysics… But take heart! Although we live in an unpoetic world now, sleeping isn’t death – it’s a kind of preparation, a hibernation… Because the basic truths about human beings never change – our earthy flesh is wild, and ultimately in search of the unfettered “delight” of art as much as the delight of the races.


And here’s La Kid herself,


with her man Ed Fitzgerald,
at the races. It looks sunny!

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4 Responses to ““Everything’s fine here! How are you?””

  1. Dennis Says:

    Attending the Galway races was one of the best days during my year in Galway. We sat on the infield grounds with the crowds, not far from the bookies. As Yeats wrote, Delight makes all of the one mind.

    A year later, after returning to the US, I was browsing at the new coffee table picture books on Ireland and opened one of them to a picture of the races, with our group front and center.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Dennis: I wouldn’t mind my kid’s photo appearing in the Irish race coverage. Hasn’t happened yet.

  3. Dennis Says:

    In Ireland, anything is possible.

  4. Dennis Says:

    I’m sure you found, when visiting Galway, Nora Barnacle’s house and Michael Furey’s (Sonny Bodkin’s) grave in Rahoon Cemetery. And the Yeats sites! Thor Ballylee, Coole Park, and, just up the road in County Sligo, Yeats’s grave, Lisadell, Innisfree. . . .

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