Poems, — May 1, 2010 11:36 — 0 Comments

The Brewer’s Man

L A G Strong (1896-1958) was born in England of Irish parents. He it was who introduced a young Michael J Murphy to Harper’s Weekly and prevailed upon him to write articles for submission there, thus igniting Michael J’s long literary career. 


The older man was delighted with Michael J’s subsequent output. 


 

Tuberculosis was the silent killer of up to 30% of the Irish poor up to the discovery of penicillin. It was so feared that its name even was not spoken.

 

Michael J Murphy’s ‘The Weakness’ is one of the few stories in Irish literature that deals with the disease, finally tackled by the Minister of Health in the Coalition Government Dr Noel Browne (despite the strong opposition of the Roman Catholic hierarchy!). 

 

L A G Strong praised the story as ‘one of the best short stories to come out of Ireland this century.’

 

 

Anyway before we resume our series on Michael J, here is a poem of Strong’s which was a favourite of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

 

 

 The Brewer’s Man

 

Have I a wife? Bedamn I have!

But we were badly mated.

I hit her a great clout one night

And now we’re separated.

 

And mornin’s going to me work

I meets her on the quay:

‘Good mornin’ to ye ma’am!’ says I:

‘To hell with ye!’ says she.

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