Few places in Ireland are so evocative of a glorious, if troubled, past, as Lissadell House - made famous by both its storied inhabitants, and especially by Yeats, who visited twice, and appreciated the young kimono-dressed "gazelles".  I was honoured to be asked to read a poem for a private gathering of the intrepid Walsh/Cassidy family this weekend, in the great hall (which so pleased Yeats), beside a harp.  It is a pity this family, which has put a small fortune into restoring the mansion and its grounds, planting new gardens and collecting rare books, letters, papers and paintings relating to the Gore-Booths and the artistic coterie of the time, surrounding Eva Gore-Booth, Yeats, and others dedicated to a Literary Renaissance for Ireland, should be vilified for their cultural foresight and husbandry.  Good to see that Leonard Cohen (the second Canadian poet to perform there) will be playing to a crowd of tens of thousands over several nights there this summer.  This major lyricist of our age was drawn by the chance to perform in the shadow of Ben Bulben, and one of the greatest homes in Ireland.
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