The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #569 Message #2332631
Posted By: DannyC
04-May-08 - 11:27 AM
Thread Name: Origin: The Croppy Boy
Subject: RE: The Croppy Boy
Heaney came to Kentucky a few years ago to collect an academic honor (and get over to Churchill Downs on the First Saturday in May). The Hallowed Halls crowd were apparantly nervous about the trip to the racetrack so they enlisted a stableman friend of mine (from the Ring in Waterford) to go along for the ride, have the chat in Irish, and usher the laureate thru the meandering backstretch alleys (not a place for esteemed academics).
My buddy took the wheel. Halfway to the track, the poet says he wouldn't mind having a cup of coffee. My buddy says, "Not a bother - there's a McDonald's just beyond at the next Interstate exit". (He reports there was a discernable gasp from the stuffed shirted freeloaders crammed into the backseats.) Heaney says, "McDonald's - That'll be grand."
After dumping the elite at the celebrity gate, my buddy took the laureate on a guided tour thru the mangers. After the visitation, they had to walk across the racing surface to get to their assigned seats where my friend had a lovely moment with the man as they stopped to toe at the soil in the lane. Heaney talked with wonder about the dirt's loamey quality and the loose cushion it must provide. The man clearly keeps a pronounced interest in the turf, sod and soil of this world.... feels the poetry in it, I suppose.
It's a shame about that beautiful filly yesterday. Did you see her go after that great colt ... he's too good, she'd never have gotten to him... she just wouldn't quit... too much heart. It was a terrible thing to watch her die.