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tv   [untitled]    November 26, 2011 3:30am-4:00am PST

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i switch from reading the newspapers to the books i find james lacy of the books of lectural district of the poor law union. the library has most of the electoral district books for the 1840's. they are beautiful leather bound books with copper writing and calligraphy. the spelling of each name is not consistent from year to year. i find lacy spelled as l. a. krfrment y. e l. aechlt c. e. y. the books show the records of james lacy up through 1847. there are other tenants on the books. hanly, boshg, ryan, kennedy,llower and hoge an. i examine the rate books people were paying. they paid a tax shillings to the
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pound. another indicate the tax is paid and another indicate the taxes in arrears. james lacy was paid in full and not in a rears. the tax in 1846 was cut in half from the previous year. the year 1847 shows something else. the people were taxed in may of 1847 and made to pay a 4 fold increase and in october of 1847, 15 times what they were paying in 1846. this amounted to a 900 percent increase in tax in less than a year. still james lacy was paid in full and not in arrears. i show the book to the librarian who knows i am reading papers to look for clearance notices and says, there's your answer now
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you know why they left. newspaper mentioned the establishment of insolvant commission. in commission states the tax afforded the clearance amongers the most effective means of getting rid of this agricultural population. some landlords were praised as humane for forgiving 3-4 year's rent or accepting what people could pay. these landlords were in the minority and the landlord of cottage where nie family lived was not among them. rate payer books for 1848 is missing. the book for 1849 is in worse condition than the earlier books. theate book for 1849 is torn and muddy and appears to have blood stains on the pages. as if this book is telling me what happened that awful year. i search for james lacy's name and find it gone along with the
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other tenant and it is town lands as well. [applause] >> i think on that note i will read a poem, which is my book among other things my quest to discover the family's connection or my connection to that history. and what happens there is the pursuit and the logical seeking after those signs. those material signs baptismal records and there is happenstance. that's what happened to me once when i went to ireland i staid at a b and b. there are a zillion every other house is a b and b. i hit on the one b and beshgs where the owner said, your last name is to bein i know where all the to beins came to ireland.
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i said, i'm all ears. this poem goes into that and the last part is a translation from an irish song, the ring. >> i followed the winding coast road back from cove airny moore and her brother cast in branz at the center entrance head of a line at elis island looking as though they a choired dreksz in their own country. dim passage through american wait and coffinship the figures of a prior generation real to swells and sound effects each swollen in the ache of crossing. my father's ship united states streaming to the harbor, the way it steamed in the narrows below the rising towers of the bridge. above the keys, saint coalmans resided over the dock where my
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mother's mother waited and my father's forefather disappeared like vermon in the fields they flooded home. i can tell you where the to beins first landed that invited me to the patio in the house glass of whisky regard in luminous in the long twilight. if you drive east on the way to gonegarvin off to the right you will come on the ring road where there are to beins from norman times. the name [inaudible] into our own name now. i had known history but not the place. so next day driving along the route each village seemed a station on the journey of
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return. kiely's cross i pursued the paper trail, unwound the breed of names through census and baptism each generation christening the last until it was language on the tongue and the trail trailed to the mists of the unrecorded. now i was tracing a highway to ore gin the potatoes struck black with blight. metals and we was their faces swollen with fever. stench rising from the evicted burrowed. men like dogs scoured the fields. i saw in one cottage a royal of rats feasting on an infant. no one where i witnessed anything like it not in calcutta. the voiceless children silenced
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by hunger the bodies burned at night leaving i don't trace. descending the drum hills i turned off the main road following signs and i language lost before i was born. this was land observe the land was renamed and hushed. what was left for me, generations gone. a purfume of smoke freshened my nostrils. pastures reached to the head of the bay. thick roads where locals greeted with slowly raised hands or a nod of a cap to my car the postcard my eye framed in it's longing. moony's pub where i stopped for a pint and slipped my quest. so, you are a to bein accomodating my english. they're all about here. she showed the photograph with
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dark hair and features unlike my own but a resemblance of an uncle. what was the ring happened on my chance or grace. why not trace through lost norman crests or track dna to tribes 6,000 years gone from the banks. or further back through each human cell to african eve her grunts are tuning savannahs. i felt the gift shared from the bones later that night in the crowded room when all the instruments had gone silent and a man rose up shyly alone and sang sean moss one of the singer's songs. beautiful country, i take you to by the black water screens of the beast the thrush and the black bird sings sweetly and the wild deer over the mountains branches with fruits and blossom
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the and hives with honey. and the corn creek lifts it's cries in the grass. [applause] >> your poem has a sense of place and you mentioned earlier the sensation of going to canada and what it felt like to be in that place in canada and in other opportunities to be in that land in ireland. i wonder if you can reflect and margaret as well, what were the physical experiences you were having and what was the importance ever going to the place by way of informing your story? >> i don't know if anybody seen there is a series on now on called african-american lives? >> yeah. >> and it remindses me so much
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of my experience and some of the things that were said that rang through for me are things like, if we don't know where we come from we don't know that we are somebody. it's like, the effects of colonization when -- when our story is taken from us. in when our language is taken and we are disoriented and we come to a new country, we are not literate, it's a way to keep people oppressed. so, part of reclaiming ourselves as irish americans and having the biggest life possible means knowing everything there is to know about ourselves and our people. >> i will talk briefly about the going to saint john i set that trip up and 911 happened.
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and so i endsed up going on this journey back to where 3450i family came over a week after 911 which was a remarkable experience in itself because the airports were empty much everybody was gone. until we got to canada where there was a crush of people moving through with added security and so forth. when i got to saint johns i went to the perish rejist ree. met the woman i spoke with on the phone and she gave me complete access to the archives. ship lists and when they came over 1550 or 1851. there was no marriage record. they probably got married on the boat which happened often. that's where i found out that
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the trade with the merry times and county cork was a lumber trade. they brought lumber over and humans were brought back. profound history that, you know, my ancestors were a part of. not just mine bithousands and millions of people have this story deep in their background. i also found out the location of where my great, great grandfather was buried in saint johns which is ruinned by acid rain because they built a refinary over it. this is an irish american grave yard a memorial to the experience of coming over her in famine times partridge islands is where they had to go through.
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i stood about where the plot was which was a mass grave. there was no marker at all. they were buried together with the other poor in a little area. to be standing there in the space where your great, great grandfather was and other members of your family and have no marker they are the grass. they are the grass underneath your feet or their bodies are. that is a humbling experience. we are part of a remnant if we think we are not we are diluting ourselves that genealogy searchs should humble you. because it's only traces left. there are only signs left. those signs are not empty. you know, they transsubstantiate the lines that were that were
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there that were gone and yet are somehow encoded in us. >> thank you.
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[music] ♪[applause]
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thank you. >> thank you for applauding. never know. [laughter]. so, these next few pieces are jewish art songs the jewish art song is not something that most people know about even if you are into classical music. raise your hand if you know shoemoner shoebert? these songs are actually in
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yiddish but they are art songs. they are beautiful. and they are not done. right. soy, i hope you enjoy the next few pieces. i will describe them. the first was written by [inaudible] a song that has almost nonsentence words but it's your time to be with god and your moment alone with whatever you need. i hope you appreciate this one. [music] ♪[applause]
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>> thank you. so the next piece, it's beautiful. this is yiddish a beautiful song that was given to me by george rosenside who is an amazing
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person. and this next piece was the same composer composed in paris and called the yiddish and a great -- it's so beautiful. yiddish the wealth of my treasure much the kreet urs -- from it's yiddish. so many true, simple and core people wandering through countries and over the world where truth -- [music] ♪
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[applause] this next piece is actually, this piece and the next piece going into it actually have a really nice story about it. the next piece is very, very well known by people who know yiddish folk songs. now, in this piece, this was said so it was classically it's not the same tune as most people know it. know the piece. so, it's very beautiful.
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it's a holocaust song. reach out your white hand to me. running over my words are tierce that want to rest in your hand the poetry is gorgeous. and in this piece, i was at a camp where we all learned yiddish. there was an old man and he sang not this piece but the regular version. this woman was working and said, who are you with this piece? nobody knew if he was a holocaust survivor. everyone was lored by this man who could get up and sing this song when he was a survivor, everybody was breaking out in tears and was amazing and the next piece i had to get up and sing. what an act to follow. i will go with the piece i was
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going to sing anyway. this is a gypsy song. [laughter]. free to love and -- [laughter]. i'm thinking this guy is going to walk out of the room and never like me ever again. he doesn't know me but he is going to hate me and remember me as the girl when totally ruinned the moment. [laughter]. i go and you will hear in a minute after this song and he's crying. he's like crying so much that i almost was going to stop but i didn't stop. at the end me got up and everyone was silent and he said, when i was in the concentration camp the only reason i survived is because a gypsy girl came and she would sneak me food in her
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apron everyday. and i was in love with her. that was the only way i got through. and he said that i looked just like her. [laughter]. worked out; right ? [laughter] think i look like this. [laughter]. and he was so inadd mirrorad with this woman when he heard me sing he was sobbing and he was hugging me. and just amazing and so i really wanted to tell you that story to put the 2 songs together for you to give you a sense of what this was like for me. [music] ♪
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