Flat Stanley in Dublin, Ireland
Kindly submitted by Aengus Lawlor
There are a number of statues of famous writers around Dublin - 2nd graders probably haven't heard of any of them, though :-(. But that's what I took pictures of Flat Stanley with....
The first picture I took was Flat Stanley with Patrick Kavanagh, who is commemorated with a bench on the backs of Dublin's Grand Canal (Dublin has 2 canals, three Grand Canal on the south side of the city and the Royal Canal on the north).
One of Kavanaghs best known poems was set to music and is sung as a ballad -
On Raglan Road
By Patrick Kavanagh
On Raglan Road on an autumn day I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I passed along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.
On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion's pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay -
Oh I loved too much and by such by such is happiness thrown away.
I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that's known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint without stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May
On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had loved not as I should a creature made of clay -
When the angel woos the clay he'd lose his wings at the dawn of day.
You can listen to the ballad here:
Then I walked with Stanley down to Merrion Square, where I took his picture with a very colourful statue of Oscar Wilde. This statue is carved from different coloured stones, and is very interesting to look at. (Wilde was famous for many things, including the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and the play "The Importance of Being Earnest".
Then we went to see James Joyce, probably Dublins most famous writer (though he's famous for writing a book that a lot of people consider unreadable :-).
We also visited the statue of Molly Malone. Molly is immortalised in the song "Cockles and Mussels" which is sort of the anthem of Dublin. You can hear a couple of the very many versions of the song on the web
There is a Stanley Street in Dublin, and I thought that it might be fun to take Stanley's picture on the street that bears his name, but in the end, I couldn't find it! But I did come across Coke Lane when I was looking for Stanley Street. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't refer to Coca Cola, but to a type of coal that would have been used in the city a long time ago.
You'll notice that there are two lines on the sign - "Coke Lane" and "Lána Cóc". Ireland is like Canada - we have 2 official languages, Irish and English. "Lána Cóc" is the Irish Language version of Coke Lane. I also took Stanley's picture next to an Irish license plate on a car. Irish number plates have 2 digits for the year (this car dates from 2000) 1 or two letters for the county or city where the car was registered (this car was registered in Dublin - that's what the D means) and then a number that increases for each car registered - this was the 62254th car registered in Dublin in 2000).
On the left hand side, there is a blue panel with the European flag, and the letter IRL, showing that this is an Irish car. A Car from France would have the letters FR, a car from Italy would have I, a car from Germany would have D (for Deutschland, the German word for Germany), a Spanish car would have E (for Espana, the Spanish word for Spain) etc.
You'll also notice the words Baile Átha Cliath across the top of the license plate - that's actually the Irish name for Dublin!!! Most Irish place names have English language names that come from their original Irish language names - Cork comes from the Irish Corcaigh, Galway comes from the Irish Gaillimh, Belfast comes from the Irish Béal Feirste. But places on the east cost where the Vikings lived almost 1,000 years ago often have English names that come from their Viking names, instead of their Irish names - Dublin is Baile Átha Cliath in Irish, Waterford is Port Láirge, Wexford is Loch Garmain, and Wicklow is Cill Mhantáin. Some of the place names near where you live are probably based on the Indian names that were used long before there were English speakers in the area, and some place names are new names that were brought in by the settlers.