April 27, 2013
0617 IRELAND (Munster) - Will you come to Limerick?
"There was an Old Man of Kilkenny,
Who never had more than a penny;
He spent all that money,
In onions and honey,
That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny."
As many know, this is a limerick, that means, according to Webster's Dictionary, "a humorous, often nonsensical, and sometimes risqé poem of five anapestic lines, of which lines 1, 2, and 5 are of three feet, and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 are of two feet, and rhyme." This kind of poetry is recorded in England since the early years of the 18th century, but was popularized by Edward Lear in the 19th century, firstly by his Book of Nonsense (1845), from which is part the above limerick (he didn't use this term). The origin of the name is debated, but is generally taken to be a reference to the City or County of Limerick, and may derive from an earlier form of nonsense verse parlour game that traditionally included a refrain that included "Will [or won't] you come (up) to Limerick?"
The city of Limerick is built on several curves and islands of the River Shannon, and dates from at least the Viking settlement in 812, being redesigned by the Normans in the 12th century. In early medieval times it was at the centre of the Kingdom of Thomond, and during the civil wars of the 17th century played a pivotal role. In following century, the city prospered through trade, taking on the appearance of a Georgian City, that it has preserved until this day. During the Irish War of Independence, the Limerick Soviet was a self-declared soviet that existed from 15 to 27 April 1919.
In the postcard are shown the following famous places in Limerick:
• Limerick 1916 Memorial - Located on the Sarsfield Bridge, it is "dedicated to those Limerick men and their comrades who died during 1916, and also to those of every generation who died for Ireland." It has a limestone pedestal and base on which stand the bronye figures of Tom Clarke (armed with a pistol), Edward Daly and Con Colbert. The frontal base contain a plaque giving the 1916 Proclamation. Inscribed also are the names of 16 men who were executed during May, 1916 in Kilmainham Prison, and the names of 65 others killed in action during the Easter Rising.
• Frank McCourt Museum - Was opened in 2011, two years after the death of this Irish-American teacher and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, best known as the author of Angela's Ashes, in his former school, on Harstonge Street. It contains many artefacts from the book, and also houses Frank's Ashes.
• the bronze bust of Frank McCourt, Limerick's most famous author, located outside his old school, and unveiled in 2010. The bust has been sculpted by Seamus Connolly.
• King John's Castle - located on King's Island, next to the River Shannon. The Vikings built a permanent stronghold here in 922, and around 1200 John, Lord of Ireland erected a castle. Under the Norman rule, Limerick was divided into an area became known as "English Town" on King's Island, while another settlement, named "Irish Town", on the south bank of the river. In 17th century the castle was damaged during the five sieges of the city.
About the stamp
The stamp, depicting Beadlet Anemone (Actinia equina), is part of the definitive series about Irish animals and marine life, about which I wrote here.
This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday #165, hosted on Beth's blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy. Click on the button below to visit all the other participants.
Limerick - Wikipedia
Limerick (poetry) - Wikipedia
Architecture of Limerick - Wikipedia
The 1916 Memorial, Sarsfield Bridge - Limerick City Council website
sender: Evaldas Matjosaitis (direct swap)
sent from Limerick (Munster / Ireland), on 18.04.2013