Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Salon ~ Irish art

POSTER
My artist friend Jane brought me a couple of gifts from Ireland.  First, this delightful poster of "Pangur Ban" from Trinity College Library in Dublin.  The poem was written into the margin of a manuscript copied by an Irish Monk in the ninth century.  I'll have to memorize this first verse.

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.
On the left is an enlargement from the bottom of the poster, showing a cat as twisty as a Celtic drawing.  Jane got the perfect gift for a wordlover who has a cat.  The encircling lines above are four more of the eight verses (2, 4, 5, and 8) of the "Pangur Ban" poem.
Pangur Ban
(click title to hear it read)

I and Pangur Ban my cat, / Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight, / Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men / Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will, / He too plies his simple skill.

Tis a merry thing to see / At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find / Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray / In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set / Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye / Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I / All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den / O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove / When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply, / Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss, / I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made / Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night / Turning darkness into light.

Jane also brought me a nice Celtic Art bookmark showing the initial letter "b" adapted from the Lindisfarne Gospels.  Double-click the illustrations so you can compare the bookmark to Wikipedia's illustration of the page from the Lindisfarne Gospels.  Can you see the "b"?

(And did you notice the twisty cat above, drawn by Denis Brown in 2001, is using a computer and has his paw on a mouse?  Look closely at the mouse.)

WHAT I'M READING

Just finished
1.  Dead Asleep ~ by Jennifer B. White, 2011, fiction (Massachusetts), 9/10
Currently
2.  Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story ~ by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor, 2009, memoir (Greece, Turkey, South Carolina, France)
Next Up
3.  Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus ~ by Robin R. Meyers, 2009, religion
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3 comments:

Emily Franklin said...

Oh I love the Irish poem, and it is so much you it is a wonder you had not stumbled upon it already.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I agree, Emily. Jane, who gave it to me, said the same thing. Yes, it was perfect for me.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I am so tired from the weekend's competition that I can hardly see straight! :-)

I love the Irish stuff you got, so much fun!