Ireland of the Welcomes
My life in booksct
John Creedon shares the books that changed his life
SOUNDINGS AUGUSTINE MARTIN
I’m inclined to read in short bursts and then lie awake all night wondering about what I’ve just read, so it’s hardly surprising that this anthology of poetry for Leaving Cert students lit the fuse of curiosity. It was intended as an interim schoolbook, but proved so popular with teachers and students that it stayed on the syllabus for decades. Like many of my contemporaries, I still draw on lines memorised from the poems of Patrick Kavanagh, T.S. Elliot and Shakespeare. It stands as a pillar in the evolution of education in the newly independent Ireland.
TAO TE CHING LAO TSU
I regularly dip into scripture from all traditions but I have come back again and again to this beautifully simple masterpiece from the 6th c entury BC. All truth is universal and timeless, so I find the words of Lao Tsu comfortingly relevant to the challenges facing us all today.
THE TAILOR & ANSTY ERIC CROSS
Although once banned in Ireland by a particularly conservative church and state, this is a hilarious, warm and informative account of a colourful couple from my father’s parish of Uibh Laoighre. The old wisdom and humour of the peasant Irish is captured brilliantly by Eric Cross, a young Englishman who documented their stories and beautiful turn of phrase.
AWARENESS ANTHONY DE MELLO
I have always loved this call to spiritual awakening. His subsequent publications "The Song of the Bird" and "The Prayer of The Frog" come as collections of short little parables in sutra form. Theory is one thing, living it is the challenge. I’ll begin again today.
THE PROPHET KAHLIL GIBRAN
It’s hard to beat a short book and this little gem from the Lebanese Poet and Philosopher has been a constant in my life.
HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILISATION
THOMAS CAHILL Despite the rather grandiose suggestion in the title, there is huge substance to the claim. The book was certainly an eye-opener for me and led me to "The Confessions of St. Patrick". ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’ and the role of the Irish monasteries in keeping the flame of learning alive during Europe’s Dark Age. I will be forever grateful to the American tourist who gave me her copy in a restaurant in Cork. Thank you.
LONG EARS PATRICIA LYNCH
My very first book. Given to me by my mother over half a century ago. My sister found it in a box a few years ago and it felt like being re-united with the boy who read it. Just holding it was special. Although we now live in a digital age, you can still hold a book. It’s a special feeling.
That Place We Call Home: A Journey Through The Place Names of Ireland by John Creedon is published by Gill Books and available in bookshops and online, priced at €19.99