“An egg without salt is like a kiss from a beardless man”
–Old Irish Proverb.
Last night I happened to be going through my “A Collection of Irish Proverbs” –the first book I ever did– and this one made me smile. With Saint Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I felt like dispensing a little “native wisdom” and I have always had a special fondness for this particular proverb.
(Yes, I happen to be bearded. What’s that got to do with anything?)
Saint Patrick’s Day parades are always something of an embarrassment –they never seem to present anything to do with Ireland or Irishness. Except perhaps an apparent propensity for putting on dumb parades…
Does anybody else feel that –either about the StPDay parade, or any other national parade? (I happened to be crossing 5th Avenue a few months ago as the annual Polish Parade was going by –a bunch of spandexed baton-twirlers doing some desultory routine, followed by an old guy in a suit sitting up on a large red convertible, waving to us all, while his blond bathing beauty wife/secretary handed out his real estate business cards to a sparse crowd.)
Hey, what are parades for?
Last year we decided to try to do something about CONTENT here in Staten Island: through Beth Gorrie’s Staten Island Outloud organisation, we presented a reading of “Herself Long Ago” –the poetry of six Irish women from the 8th to the 10th century that I had translated. It was something REAL, something that conveyed poetry and significant heritage, something that everybody could relate to, and learn something from.
Some more Irish proverbs for you:
“A lucky person has only to be born.”
“Good luck is better than early rising.”
“It’s for her own good that the cat purrs.”
“Listen to the river and you’ll catch a trout.”
“When your hand is in the dog’s mouth, withdraw it gently.”
“If it’s drowning you’re after, don’t torment yourself with shallow water.”
“He who is slow to give a loan is good at advising you.”
“A bad reaper never got a good reaping hook.”