Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Very Irish Story

I was reading The Independent yesterday morning and saw this headline: Poet Forced To Pulp Work After Row With Family. There was no picture or other explanation and I had never heard about this incident before, but I knew immediately that the poet and the family had to be Irish. I clicked on the link and of course I was right. How did I know? Well, it was elementary my dear Watson. Firstly, in no other country in the world is poetry taken seriously enough to cause a major family dispute. Poets are important public figures in Ireland and as incredible as this may seem to an American or Australian reader the poetry sections of the bookshops (at least in Belfast) are well frequented and do a brisk trade. Secondly, it had to be a country where publishers are easily brow beaten by lawyers which meant Britain or Ireland. Thirdly, I knew it had to be an Irish story because of the key "row with family" phrase. The Irish family row puts all other family rows to shame and the blow ups I have seen at various Thanksgivings etc. over the years are a pale imitation of a genuine Celtic shindig. I wont soon forget the wedding reception I attended where one man give another a Glasgow kiss and their two wives instantly began tearing at one another's hair as if they had been waiting to do it for decades, which they probably had.