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Posts Tagged ‘gabriel rosenstock’

Last week we featured a guest blog post from Rathcairn Library about Gabriel Rosenstock’s visits to their library during Children’s Books Festival. We’re delighted today to heat from Gabriel himself:

The first thing you notice about a visit to Ráth Chairn library is the abundance of Irish-language books for young and old and a lovely display of old book covers, featuring classic tales rendered into Irish such as Cú na mBaskerville – no prizes for guessing the original title. A pity we don’t have more bilingual and multilingual displays in our libraries and bookshops. Even from a visual point of view (quite apart from linguistic courtesy), a bilingual or multilingual display of books, covers, posters etc. would be an improvement on the ubiquitous “usual suspects” which become so tiring to the eye.

And what a great pleasure it was to be able to speak in Irish to such a lively group of Gaeltacht children, most of whom were very comfortable with their Gaelic identity and few of whom would remember the mockery endured by many of their parents/grandparents who moved to this fertile spot in County Meath from the harsh, rocky terrain of Connemara.

We had some great fun with classic and modern haiku, reciting and flavouring dozens of samples over three days and, most of all in illustrating them. Mind-boggling were some of the frogs and spiders that found shape and colour in Ráth Chairn over those enchanting days. This was the creation of haiga, or illustrated haiku, and we could have been at it for a month! And when we had enough illustrations, or so I thought, I asked them to try to sing a few haiku. (Their teacher – lucky for them – is a prize-winning sean-nós singer). And they obliged, individually and as little groups. And if you have never heard haiku sung by school children, hybrid songs influenced by rap and sean-nós, well then, you haven’t lived! All in all, a transcultural multi-media experience as rewarding for myself as it was for the children.

Rath Dé ar mhuintir Ráth Chairn!

 Thanks to CBI for this guest blog

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