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101 Reasons Why Any Literary Enthusiast Should Travel To Ireland AND Why Any St. Marker Should Apply For Grants

By Yevheniia Dubrova, VI Form

101 Reasons Why Any Literary Enthusiast Should Travel To Ireland AND Why Any St. Marker Should Apply For Grants

Editor’s Note on the A.A. Jones Grant: The Anthony A. Jones family wishes to inspire international educational initiatives among current St. Mark’s students by financing all or part of their travel and room and board for activities which are deemed by St. Mark’s School to be educationally stimulating.

“Believe it or not, my grandpa was Yeats’s pal. He was a poet himself, a good man he was.  He told me all about the fairies.”

“What fairies?”

It’s night here in Dublin, and I am discussing fairies and drinking tea in the kitchen of a man whom I met four hours ago. His name is Vinny, he speaks in a heavy Irish accent, holds degrees in creative writing and philosophy, works as a tourist guide, loves hosting strangers (however creepy that may sound), and his grandpa, apparently, was one of Yeats’s childhood buddies. I am trying to process the fact that he talks about the Yeats, whom I love as much as any sane person could love a poet, staring at the wall decorated with some posters in Irish Gaelic and caricatures of James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, and Oscar Wilde. I ask Vinny what’s written on the posters, to which he responds by handing me a Gaelic-English dictionary. I spend twenty minutes flipping through the pages, just to discover that most of what’s written there are Irish curse words. 

I have just spent two weeks traveling through the county and visiting places where Irish writers and poets lived and worked, which, it seems to me, is basically any place in Ireland. To quote Vinny, “there are more poets in Ireland then stars in the night sky.” Sounds poetic to me.

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