Eating and Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day

And with that title I suppose we need no further explanation. The Poetry Foundation has a full page up to celebrate today’s date. Whatever persuasion you are, and whether or not you feel there is anything to celebrate, I suspect that you would not turn down a drink and some hearty food on your plate. Not blood sausage maybe, but bangers and mash perhaps? Or some Guinness stew, or cheesy champ with onions?  Or how about the plate of food from title poem from PF’s feature page: “Corned Beef and Cabbage?” For me, I think I like the idea of “Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey.” 

bangers, mash & onion gravy
bangers, mash & onion gravy (Photo credit: jules:stonesoup)

Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey
(Click here for Poetry Foundation’s Audio)

Scrambled eggs and whiskey
in the false-dawn light. Chicago,
a sweet town, bleak, God knows,
but sweet. Sometimes. And
weren’t we fine tonight?
When Hank set up that limping
treble roll behind me
my horn just growled and I
thought my heart would burst.
And Brad M. pressing with the
soft stick, and Joe-Anne
singing low. Here we are now
in the White Tower, leaning
on one another, too tired
to go home. But don’t say a word,
don’t tell a soul, they wouldn’t
understand, they couldn’t, never
in a million years, how fine,
how magnificent we were
in that old club tonight.

“Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey” from Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995 by Hayden Carruth, published by Copper Canyon Press in 1996.
Source: Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey: Poems 1991-1995 (Copper Canyon Press, 1996)

All of this is making me hungry, and it is getting close to dinner time even here on the western side of the “pond,” so I leave you with W. B. Yeats and my recording of “A Drinking Song.” Check out Poetry Ireland if you need your clovers tickled just a bit more today. And happy St. Paddy’s to ye!

A Drinking Song
by William Butler Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben Naga says:

    I used to live in Southport and on St Patrick’s Day there was a tradition for loads of Irish folk who lived 20 miles away in Liverpool would come to Southport for the day and make merry, generally involving drinking a lot of alcohol and also a certain amount of fighting. Generally a day to keep away from the centre of town for we locals.


    1. Even here in Penn’s Woods, I prefer my Bushmill’s Honey and cheesy champ with a few friends at home, rather than all the people here who are only “Irish” for a day. 🙂


    2. Great reading of Yeats!


    3. Thank you! I love W.B. and he’s incredibly powerful in such few lines.


  2. PB Rippey says:

    Besht sdrinking shong evah, dreenking swong, swan, besht–luv gates. yates. Shx…ah, just kidding. am mother to kindergartner. up at 6 tomorrow, but wonderful poems and a great reading. I enjoyed visiting, as usual.


    1. Haha, I needed that. My boys are not under roof today, and the best I could really manage was a turkey sub, followed now by one gin and bitter lemon. Soon I’ll be out for the night. Thqnks for the visit! Always a joy to see you.


  3. marceltina says:

    Great reading David…so timely , as I have spent the day writing up on Maud Gonne ! Ain’t that a coincidence…!kristine


    1. Oh yes! I was refreshing my memory about her a couple of weeks ago. Did you write a poem on her?


  4. Carruth and Yeats…happy sigh. Thanks for these, David.


    1. Oh, Jennifer, my pleasure. Thanks for showing up with the whiskey. I hope I didn’t overcook the eggs.


  5. slpmartin says:

    Two brilliant reading for the price of one whiskey…wonderful!


    1. Haha, nice commebt. Thanks, Charles!


  6. John says:

    Great reading … but, then, your readings always are.

    We did the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, because it’s my mom’s favorite (and, it’s a favorite of mine too, which is why I’m only 98% vegetarian … gotta enjoy some of life’s pleasures!) Bangers and Mash are another favorite, though, I must admit, I’m rather picky about my Bangers … just because it’s a sausage doesn’t mean it’s a banger (and, I’ll leave that sentence as is, and let you make of it what you will.) 🙂

    I’m all for scrambled whiskey … Irish Whiskey is … was … a favorite.


    1. I think I would wear the T-shirt that said that, “Just because it’s a sausage doesn’t mean it’s a banger.”

      As for Irish Whiskey, for some reason I’m not good with single malt whiskey and scotch. I’m better able to keep down a blended Dewars. However, Bushmills (from the north coast of Northern Irleand) makes a honey whiskey that I adore. And Irish Mist is an old favorite now. I don’t drink the stuff often though, and cannot imagine it with scrambled eggs.


    2. John says:

      that would make a fun t-shirt, wouldn’t it?


    3. Oh! And thank you for the compliment on the reading. It’s an old favorite of mine for personal reasons.


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