The "lively tongue" lives on

The Belfast Telegraph reports that “Rhyming Weavers & Other Country Poets Of Antrim And Down”, published by The Blackstaff Press is to be reisssued with a new foreword by Tom Paulin at £7.99.Preserving the local words and customs of rural life. With Industrialisation of the weaving industry this way of life was lost, but thankfully the great John Hewitt left us a record.

To A Hedgehog, Samuel Thomson :

“Thou grimmest far o’ gruesome tykes

Grubbing thy food by thorny dykes,

Gudefaith, thou disna want for pikes

Baith sharp an’ rauckle;

Thou looks (Lord save’s) array’d in spikes,

A creepin’ heckle….”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The Tele is slightly wrong, in that the book has already been reissued and on the shelves for months. I bought it before Christmas.

  • Davros

    How good is it Gonzo ? Is it mainly poetry or has it lots of background information ?

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Starts off with the socio-political background of the Weaver bards, and the latter half contains example of their work.

    While much of the poetry is understandable, there were a few where I struggled. I read it quickly and enjoyed it, which is unusual, as I never read poetry normally.

  • Davros

    Thanks 🙂 I’ll order a copy. Could be interesting in terms of the unrest of their times.

  • Jacko

    Me too.
    My grandfather came from weaving stock. Apparently at one time Rabbie Burns’ poetry was more popular in most of the nothern counties of Ireland than it was outside of small pockets of devotees in Scotland.