Dan a word deriving from Donum a gift in Latin and Direach a Dire honour price but later to mean straight Direct traditional verse art deserving of honour price seamus deane angela bourke
"The Action and Pronunciation of the Poems, in the Presence of the Maecenas (Chief), or the principal Person it related to, was perform'd with a great deal of Ceremony, in a Consort of Vocal and Instrumental Musick. The poet himself said nothing, but directed and took care that every body else did his Part right. The Bards having first had the Composition from him, got it well by Heart, and now pronounc'd it orderly, keeping even Pace with a Harp, touch'd upon that Occasion; no other musical Instrument being allow'd of for the said Purpose than this alone, as being Masculin, much sweeter, and fuller than any other."
The practice of chanting appears to have been a primary method of learning, an ecclesiastical observer in 1571 (Edmund Campion) tells us that Irish students sang out their lessons piecemeal using a technique called ‘cronan’ or crooning. Other notable refrains perhaps practiced may have been the caoine or death lament and the fonn or mantra of repetition.
Warning Extracted Text
Grades of Poet, Filidh
Taman, Drisuic and Oblaire.
The Oblaire (Elementary student). The study of 50 oghams, basic grammer, 1-20 tales.
Fochloc-Macfuirmid (Word-maker to fermenting student). 50 oghams, six easy lessons in natural philosophy (six meters called Dians: air-sheang, midh-sheang, iar-sheang, air-throm, midh-throm, air-throm.) specific and introductory poems, 20 – 30 tales (dreachts). Grammar called Uraicept na n-eigsine, part of that book called reimeanna (courses?).
Macfuirmid (continued). 50 oghams, six minor lessons in moral philosophy, certain specified poems, advanced grammer, 40 poems or tales.
Macfuirmid – Dos. The Bretha Nemed or Law of Privileges, 20 eman or poems with couplets sharing form and meaning (or ‘births’), 50 tales.
Dos – Cano. Grammer, 60 tales.
Cano. The secret language of the poets, 40 poems of the species called nuath or ‘twins’ which may be elegies in the form of couplets, 70 – 80 tales.
Cano – Cli (journeyman). Brosnacha or miscellanies, the laws of Bardism.
Cli. Prosody, dindshenchus (glosses, the meaning and origin of obscure terms and words), Teinm Laegda (illumination of song), Imbas forosnai (illumination of knowledge), Dichetal do Chennaib (Extempore incantation).
Cli. Sennet or poems of ancient wisdom, lusca or chants of swinging and rhythmic oscillation, nena or truth-saying, eochraid or warding and shielding (keys), briocht or spells, sruith or veneration and calling of the ancestors (streams), duili feda or wisdom tales (mastery of the elements). To master 175 tales to this and the next two years.
Cli. A further number of the compositions from year nine (part of 175 tales).
Cli – Anruth (master/warrior). 100 composition of Anamain or the use of breath in magical toning.
Anruth - Ollamh. 120 cetals or religious chants/orations, the four arts of poetry, 175 anruth or glorious victories. During this year and the two previous, to memorize and master the 175 tales together with the 175 anruth. This completes the 350 tales learned by heart.
One must note that both Scotland and Wales, the latter by virtue of extension, the former by affinity and intercourse, depend on teaching to imitate and rival Ireland in musical practice. Ireland uses and delights in two instruments only, the cithara and the tympanum. Scotland uses three, the cithara, the tympanum and the chorus. Wales uses the cithara, tibiae and chorus. Also, they use strings made of brass not of leather. However, in the opinion of many, Scotland today not only equals Ireland, her mistress, but also by far outdoes and surpasses her in musical skill. Hence many people already look there as though to the source of the art.
also Dallán Forchella; Dallán of Cluain Dalláin; born Eochaid Forchella—was an early Christian Irish poet best known as the writer of the Amra Choluim Chille ("Eulogy of Saint Columba") and the early Irish poem Rop tú mo baile, the basis of the modern English hymn Be Thou My Vision.
right straight righteous direct upright
A poem should begin and end on the same sound: the same syllable, the same word, or the same line. This is called dúnadh ("conclusion). Dán díreach, óglachas, and brúilingeacht all usually follow this rule; but there are a good many dán díreach poems which don't follow it & apparently never did. Keep in mind that dán díreach poems are often many ranns (quatrains or stanzas) long, so there are plenty of lines before the poet comes to the first syllable again. Also, some poems tacked the dúnadh on almost as a refrain, and sometimes repeated it twice at the end of a poem. At any rate, it is very period and a nifty poetic device.
rann: quatrain, 4-line stanza (Earliest tracts use 'rann' for line, though.)
leathrann: ('half-rann') couplet
There are four ornaments used:
rhyme with some enhancements
assonance-the vowels are the same
consonance-the consonants are the same
alliteration-repetition of consonants
Bards (or bairds) were divided into two classes; the Saor and the Daor or the Patrician and the Plebian. The Saor where known as the Sruth di aill or Stream down two cliffs, the Tighearna bhard or Lord-bard, the Admhall, Tuath-bhard or lay bard, the Bo-bhard or Cow-bard, and the Bard dine. The highest ranking of the Daor bards was the Cul-bhard or Back-bard, followed by the Sruth bhard or Stream-bard, in rank going down came the Drisiuc, Cromluatha, the Sirti-ui, Rindhaigh, Long-bhard and Bhard-loirrge.
The Saor Bard was entitled to use a specific type of meter called Nath in which the word at the end of each line makes a vowel rhyme or alliterates with the beginning of the next. The syllabic count of the Nath is irregular. There were six kinds of Nath meters called Deachna, which were practiced by the High Bards together with another form called Seadna. Suffice to say here that each category of bard was only permitted to practice a limited set of meters, and it was forbidden to compose anything out of that range.
As the poetic tradition developed most of the separate and distinct ancient meter became fused collectively into what is now known as Dan direach or ‘straight verse.’ These changes began in the 12th century under Norman influence and extended toward the 18th century. All that we know about previous poetic forms in encapsulated within the structures outlined in Dan direach. We know that poetic composition was extremely complex and structured. The basic form was a quatrain called a rann, with a set number of syllables per line.
Ornamentation called comhardadh involved the marriage and blending of consonants and vowels individually categorized into slender and broad, hard, soft, rough, light, and strong. Three other ornamentations were employed; amus or assonance, uaithne or consonance, and uaim or alliteration. Two other distinctive features of most poetry included the dunadh or a technique which involved repeating the first word of a composition as the ending, and cross/internal rhymes. An example of the structure of one form called Rannaicheacht Mhor:
BC x x b x ac
x x x a x x bc
x b x x x x ac
x x a x x x BC
The complexities of these grammatical rules become more understandable when considering that Irish native poetry evolved within a purely oral context. The grammer is reflective not of the way a poem should be written but recited in public. Form, structure, rhythm and rhyme, intonation, and expression all play an essential part of the credible performance of poets who were expected to amaze an audience with vocal virtuosity, knowledge, and spiritual depth. It is little wonder how the Filidh came to be viewed with a sense of awe, respect and complete fear. As satirists they had the capacity to evoke elemental forces of immense power to blight and destroy the reputation of even the highest in the land.
Within the core of Irish poetics satire called Aer was an art-form all of its own.
Satire was the whip of the Filidh, often used to command respect, punish the stingy, exact revenge or employed as an extortionate means to gather wealth.
The variety, complexity and color of satires was immense, ranging from petty blasphemy to ridicule and banishment.
Some satires were reputed to bring disease and blemish to the accused, others humiliation. Quite often the satire was used only as a threat to obtain a price.
who wrote this?
The three main categories were;
Aisnes or a declaration in prose,
Ail or an insult, and
Aircetal, an incantation,
of which there were ten varieties ranging from the private to the most public;
Mac Bronn or ‘Son of a bitch’ a private insult.
Dalbach or blindness, an innuendo.
Focal i frithshuidiu or a word in opposition, a quatrain of praise in which there is a derogatory remark embedded.
Tar n’aire or an outrage of negative satire.
Tar molta or an outrage of praise, ironic or ludicrous praise.
Tamall aire or a touch of satire, less outrageous than the last.
Tamall molta or a touch of praise, assailing the victim with faintly credible
Lanair or full satire, the entire family and reputation of the victim is assaulted.
Ainmedh or sarcasm.
Glam dicind is a full religious and magical rite of denunciation, aimed at completely destroying the victim and his/her life.
Pauses for sound effect. Common in both.
Tell a story
sound of vowels and delivery flow and pitch. Rough, smooth
interspersed with melody
call and response
some rap should be dan direach in structure.
Ending on the beginning word or phrase. Verbal Flourished
M'anam do sgar riomsa a-raoir,
Calann ghlan dob ionnsa i n-uaigh;
Rugadh bruinne maordha mín
Is aonbhla lín uime uainn.
My soul parted from me last night; a pure
body that was dear is in the grave;
a gentle stately bosom has been taken from
me with one linen shroud about it.
Do tógbhadh sgath aobhdha fhionn
a-mach ar an bhfaongha bhfann:
laogh mo chridhise do chrom,
craobh throm an tighise thall.
A white comely blossom has been plucked
from the feeble bending stalk; my own
heart's darling has drooped, the fruitful
branch of yonder house.
M'aonar a-nocht damhsa, a Dhé,
Olc an saoghal camsa ad-chí;
Dob álainn trom an taoibh naoi
Do bhaoi sonn a-raoir, a Rí.
I am alone to-night, O God; evil is this
crooked world that Thou seest; lovely was
the weight of the young body that was
here last night, O King.
Truagh leam an leabasa thiar,
Mo pheall seadasa dhá snámh;
Tárramair corp seada saor
Is folt claon, a leaba, id lár.
Sad for me (to behold) yonder couch, my
long pallet...; we have seen a tall noble
form with waving tresses upon thee, O
Do bhí duine go ndreich moill
Ina luighe ar leith mo phill;
Gan bharamhail acht bláth cuill
Don sgáth duinn bhanamhail bhinn.
A woman of gentle countenance lay upon
one side of my pallet; there was naught
save the hazel-blossom like to the dark
shadow, womanly and sweet-voiced.
Maol Mheadha na malach ndonn
Mo dhabhach mheadha a-raon rom;
Mo chridhe an sgáth do sgar riom,
Bláth mhionn arna car do chrom.
Maol Mheadha of the dark brows, my
mead-vessel beside me; my heart the
shadow that has parted from me, the
flower of jewels after being planted has
Táinig an chlí as ar gcuing,
Agus dí ráinig mar roinn:
Corp idir dá aisil inn
Ar dtocht don fhinn mhaisigh mhoill.
My body has passed from my control, and
has fallen to her share; I am a body in two
pieces since the lovely bright and gentle
one is gone.
Leath mo throigheadh, leath mo thaobh,
A dreach mar an droighean bán,
Níor dhísle neach dhí ná dhún,
Leath mo shúl í, leath mo lámh.
She was one of my two feet, one of my
sides - her countenance like the white-
thorn; none belonged to her more than to
me, she was one of my eyes, one of my
Leath mo chuirp an choinneal naoi;
's guirt riom do roinneadh, a Rí;
agá labhra is meirtneach mé -
dob é ceirtleath m'anma í.
She was the half of my body, the fresh
torch; harshly have I been treated, O King;
I am faint as I tell it - she was the very half
of my soul.
Mo chéadghrádh a dearc mhall mhór,
Déadbhán agus cam a cliabh:
Nochar bhean a colann caomh
Ná a taobh ré fear romham riamh.
Her large gentle eye was my first love, her
bosom was curved and white as ivory; her
fair body belonged to no man before me.
Fiche bliadhna inne ar-aon,
Fá binne gach bliadhna ar nglór,
Go rug éinleanabh déag dhún,
An ghéag úr mhéirleabhar mhór.
Twenty years we spent together; sweeter
was our converse every year; she bore to
me eleven children, the tall fresh lithe-
Gé tú, nocha n-oilim ann,
Ó do thoirinn ar gcnú chorr;
Ar sgaradh dár roghrádh rom,
Falamh lom an domhnán donn.
Though I am alive, I am not more, since
my smooth hazel-nut is fallen; since my
dear love parted from me, the dark world
is empty and bare.
Ón ló do sáidheadh cleath corr
Im theach nochar ráidheadh rum-
Ní thug aoighe d'ortha ann
Dá barr naoidhe dhorcha dhunn.
From the day that a smooth post was fixed
in my house it has not been told me - no
guest laid a spell therein upon her youthful
dark brown hair.
A dhaoine, ná coisgidh damh;
Faoidhe ré cloistin ní col;
Táinig luinnchreach lom 'nar dteagh-
An bhruithneach gheal donn ar ndol.
O men check me not; the sound of
weeping is not forbidden; bare and cruel
ruin has come into my house - the bright
brown glowing one is gone.
Is é rug uan í 'na ghrúg,
Rí na sluagh is Rí na ród;
Beag an cion do chúl na ngéag
A héag ó a fior go húr óg.
It is the King of Hosts and the King of the
Roads who has taken her away in His
displeasure; little was the fault of the
branching tresses that she should die and
leave her husband while fresh and young.
Ionmhain lámh bhog do bhí sonn,
A Rí na gclog is na gceall:
Ach! an lámh nachar logh mionn,
Crádh liom gan a cor fám ceann.
Dear the soft hand that was here, O King
of bells and churchyards; alas! the hand
that never swore (false) oath, 'tis torment
to me that it is not placed under my head.