Landscape | Spring 2021 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Ease Up

Rick Meyer’s regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: A Bit of Blarney

By Richard E. Meyer


In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to give you some good advice now and then, I have a suggestion.

Lighten up.

Seamus Heaney is wonderful: A Nobel Prize winner, the most important Irish poet since Yeats.

You quote him often. But he can be a little heavy.

History says, don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

It’s one of your favorite verses. Ah, the Irish …

You are proud, as you once said, “to have always been and will always be the son of Kitty Finnegan. The grandson of Geraldine Finnegan, … a proud descendant of the Finnegans of Ireland’s County Louth. The great-grandson of a man named Edward Francis Blewitt, whose roots stem from Ballina, a small town in Ireland’s County Mayo… .”

By one count, eight of your kin on your mother’s side were from Ireland, as well as two on your father’s side.

That’s terrific. I’m not suggesting you give up Irish poetry. But kiss the Blarney Stone and slip in a laugh whenever you can. They’re not hard to find. I picked these up on the Internet.

When Irish eyes are smiling, They’re usually up to something.

Or how about this?

A true Irishman
Considers anyone who won’t come around to his point of view
To be hopelessly stubborn.

Or this?

There once was an old man from Lyme

Who married three wives at a time.

When asked, “Why a third?”

He replied, “One’s absurd!

And bigamy, sir, is a crime.”

Maybe this:

O’Carroll drives a double-decker bus.

Molly climbs aboard, and he suggests the upper deck.

She comes right back down.

“It’s too dangerous. There’s no driver up there.”


There was a wee lassie from Bright

Who traveled much faster than light.

She set out one day,

In a relative way,

And came back the previous night.


Why shouldn’t you iron a Four leaf clover?
You don’t want to press your luck.


I’m not Irish,
But kiss me anyway


If you use this, don’t say I suggested it:

There once was a man from Esser,

Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser,

It at last grew so small

He knew nothing at all,

And now he’s a college professor.

Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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