A glossary for the poems of John O’Brien

This glossary has been compiled as an aid to readers of the poetry of John O’Brien. There are many older words and phrases in his poems, including quite a few of Irish origin, which may be unfamiliar to many readers. Some explanations have been taken from the books of John O’Brien [these are given in […]

The Pastor of St Mel’s [poem by John O’Brien, 1954]

[Editor: This poem by John O’Brien was published in The Parish of St Mel’s and Other Verses, 1954.] The Pastor of St Mel’s Well now, it’s over forty years, the parish record tells, Since I stepped out with fine ideas promoted to St Mel’s. A coming place, a rising town, the Bishop’s letter read, A […]

Himself and Myself [poem by John O’Brien, 1954]

[Editor: This poem by John O’Brien was published in The Parish of St Mel’s and Other Verses, 1954.] Himself and Myself We’re yoke mates: I cannot say whether ’Twas chance or design or decree That has thrown us thus closely together, My curate and me. We differ on all things outside of the Book: He’s […]

Cooney’s Daughter [poem by John O’Brien, 1954]

[Editor: This poem by John O’Brien was published in The Parish of St Mel’s and Other Verses, 1954.] Cooney’s Daughter Well, we’ve married Cooney’s daughter with a mighty hullabaloo, And I could wish the lot of them as far as Timbuctoo. Huh! The airs of Cooney’s daughter with the satins and the silk, Sure, I […]

Sittin’ be the Wall [poem by John O’Brien, 1954]

[Editor: This poem by John O’Brien was published in The Parish of St Mel’s and Other Verses, 1954.] Sittin’ be the Wall Tickets, seven and a tanner; and the school was decorated By the women of the parish with fal-dal-dums without end: ’Twas the Big Ball of the Season, so the priest on Sunday stated, […]