The Smile and the Tear

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The Smile and the Tear

Author: Sean McMahon

Publication Date: November 2011

ISBN: 978-1-907535-21-5

Category: Poetry

Type: Paperback

Price: €14.99

‘Erin! the tear and the smile in thine eyes
Blend like the rainbow that hangs in thy skies.’

Thomas Moore, 1808

Do you know how Brian O’Linn and his family finally got home? Who bate the Turks at Waterloo? Which way was Moll Maloney’s head inclined? The answers to these and many other important questions are to be found in this indispensable anthology of things bright and green. For many centuries Ireland was, in the words of the song, a ‘most distressful country’. A colony of a stronger neighbour, it faced the travails of hunger, violence and forced emigration with smiles and inevitable tears. The country’s resilience was rooted in a secret, spiritual store that George Russell (Æ) called ‘the Ireland in the heart’. This new collection comes from that treasury. In it readers will find much that they know, some that will be new to them and all guaranteed Irish, ranging from old, unhappy things to poems of love, rage and wild humour, blister-raising satire and devotion to country. A multitude of different Irelands is here, represented in both languages, from the mountains of Mourne to the Rose of Tralee, from the Lake Isle of Innisfree to Dublin’s fair city, to the pleasant waters of the River Lee.

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