Tiocfaidh Ar Pheig

Tiocfaidh Ár Phéig!

Péig Sayers – a woman born with more balls than half the men in Dáil Éireann…

 

Author Sara Baume writing in the Irish Times:

“There are plenty of arguments against the inclusion of Sayers in the canon of great Irish women writers, foremost being the fact that she was illiterate in the language she spoke and instead dictated her famously bleak biography, as well as the hundreds of folk stories she contributed to the Irish Folklore Commission. I didn’t study Peig in school; I was not scarred by its misery at a tender age, which surely puts me in a more objective position than most to argue that Sayers’ account of life on the Great Blasket Island remains relevant and significant. It doesn’t matter to me that she didn’t place her own words down on paper, for this is only one element in the process of writing. Elegant prose it isn’t, but there are few authors with a more authentically Irish voice. Though much of what she described was unrelenting hardship, she was, by all accounts, pragmatic and cheerful in the face of it. Peig Sayers spoke for generations of poor, uneducated Irish women who never had the opportunity to speak for themselves.”

 

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One comment

  1. It is just strange to see the broad condemnation of her works as bleak and tiresome by those “scarred.” It just shows the now overall comfort of people that the mere report of times of immeasurable hardship and ethnic discrimination is scarring, and forgetting that this was suffered by real people, Irish people, our people. I beg to differ regarding the elegant prose, I think it is. The elegance is in its uncompromising and pure character. “I am an old woman now, with one foot in the grave and the other on its edge. I have experienced much ease and much hardship from the day I was born until this very day. Had I known in advance half, or even one-third, of what the future had in store for me, my heart wouldn’t have been as gay or as courageous it was in the beginning of my days.” This is the soul of the Gael, it lies in the lament. Note that the girls in the picture have no shoes, try that sometime in Co. Kerry or the islands, and not just in the summer.

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