One of the things I’ve been hoping to do over the past while is to read a bit more Irish poetry and history. So I was considering buying this huge book in a bargain bookshop (£7.99) before remembering that I could test drive it for free from the library.

The first poem seems to be written by anonymous pagan long ago slagging off  the ‘crazed in the head’ St Patrick.


Across  the sea will come Adze-head,
crazed in the head,
his cloak with hole for the head,
his stick bent in the head.

He will chant impiety
from a table in the front of his house;
all his people will answer:
‘Be it thus. Be it thus.’

James Carney


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