Poetry Ireland Day
“What’s with W. B. Yeats, Leonard Cohen and Omar Khayyam.”
I have just returned from India with Nuala O’ Connells’s, Crosshaven based “Street Children” charity. While there I wrote a poetry review for a friends facebook page – I’m reposting today to mark Ireland’s Poetry Day.
While I am not a poet but a mere medic (www.dunphymedicalcarrigaline.com) been Irish poetry is in blood.
I love the “live enhancing” poetry of the 11th century Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer, Omar Khayyan, who wrote enthusiastically of “Wine, Women & Song”. Many historians have argued through the ages that he must be an amalgamation of many poets as Islamic leaders would not have tolerated such “outrageous “ poetry –but one historian argued against – explaining that while the Islamic leaders of the day “never forgave their horses or their wives, but they always forgave their poets”
“Be Happy for this moment. This moment is your life”. Was his philosophy. 11 Thousand Books have been written about his poetry. One Hindu scholar collected 1300 versions of his “Rubayyet”.
He was working at the time of the first crusade – which sent shock waves through the Islamic world, rather like 9/11 did in the USA- shifting politics to far right fundamentalism. Whereas he was a rational thinker, a passionate defender of the golden age of the Islamic science, art, medicine and scholarship which was despised by the fundamentalists.
In his poems, he poked fun at the fundamentalists, whose concept of paradise was of virgins and fountains flowing with wine- if that was good enough for heaven why not here on earth!
Tradition has it when drinking a glass of wine you should spill a little in his honour.
I am also impressed by Carla Bruni’s idea of putting her favourite poems to music by simply repeating the last two lines of each stanza, to form a chorus. Carla was an Italian model who married Sarkozy while he was president of France and caused a sensation by releasing her album “No promises” which the tabloid press interpreted as proclaiming an “open marriage”
My interest in this album was triggered by the first two poems which were by the Irish Poet W B Yeats (Nobel Prizes 1923)”Your dancing days are done” and “before the world was made” (YouTube Carla Bruni – No Promises)
W B Yeats defined education as “not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire “he is said to have written his best work between the age of 50 and 70 years. His influence was global during his life time and even to the present day. Another group called “the water boys “produce a lovely album exclusively of his poems set to music. Yeats focused on lost youth, virility etc which was echo by Leonard Cohen, a Canadian academic poet who Cork wits nicknamed Leonard Moan, I suspect spotted his fellow Jewish Bard, Bob Dylan putting words to music and so Cohen with his deep melancholic voice did likewise. To mark his passing Canadian singers created a great farewell concert. (You Tube “Tower of song”). Cohen was influences by the other poets also eg. His beautiful song “Alexander Leaving” was inspired by a poem describing Anthony and Cleopatra’s last night in Alexandria before facing their final battle.
Another of his poems that blew me away was “Joan of Arc” (on Jennifer Warnes album “Famous Blue Rain Coat”) where he manages a conversation between the flames and Joan of Arc as she is being burnt at the stake as a witch.
Could I enlist your readership in a project – to volunteer one hour per week or per month to schools that lack an English teacher. In Ireland we resisted and resented English imperialism for 800 years- but did benefit by acquiring the English language, which allowed the poorest in our country to gain work in the USA, Australia, etc. The Victorian boast that “the sun never sets on the British Empire” is explained Irish style “because god would not trust the Brits in the dark”
The teaching of English has been a passport out of poverty for many. I am familiar with one School in Bangaluru which could do with help! Founded by a wonderful lady and her father to educate street children- “S. A. Nermala and her father S. G. Anthony- started with five children and grown to 700 with only limited support of benefactors.
I.e. “Stella Mary School” K.S. Layout, Bangaluru-78, Phone 26 66 32 37.
But there are many other such school needing your help, e.g. Edith Wilkins Street Children School in Dargeeling which she established 30 years ago, students from UCC do internships there every year.
Opening address by Dr. John B Dunphy (AKA DR. Sean Dunphy) to” The international conference on low dose medicine” Dublin 2018.
On behalf of the organizing committee, I welcome you to this ground breaking conference, which represent a major “paradigm shift” in therapeutics.
Most professions are slow to embrace new ideas, especially the medical establishment. You would think that the study of Physics, based on numbers, experiments and logic would be different-but NO- at a Nobel price ceremony the recipient commented that “physics advances funeral by funeral”!!
Paradigm shifts act like beacons in the world of finance, if you miss them, you miss the boat and you sink with the old paradigm. The world paradigm comes from the classical Greek “paradiegma”.
- Nokia of Finland started by manufacturing rubber boots and eventually developed and dominated the global mobile phones market, but failed to notice the significant arrival of Steve jobs smart phone, with devastating consequences.
- In the 70s Swiss watch makers dominated the global market, they had developed spectacular fly wheel, springs, water proofing etc and were light years ahead of opposition!!Their own research had developed the electric Quartz watch, which did not need any of the sophistication that the Swiss had worked tirelessly to create – they laughed at its simplicity – so sure were they that they put it on display in that year’s world congress in Geneva- Seiko of Japan took one look –one year later 10,000 watch maker were made redundant- the Swiss had controlled 98% of global revenue and 80% of all production – but had failed to spot a paradigm shift of their own making.
- Similarly in medicine!!!
- When I was in the med school – there was an entire industry built around Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers- until two tenacious Ozy Docs got the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the significance of H-PYLORI.
- Here in Dublin in the 50s a Dr. Patrick Collins discovered that a dilution of Procaine Hydrochloride applied to the skin could have an immune modulating effect in R.A. His granddaughters- both physicians still practice at their Lucan Clinic.
- A paradigm shift is on the way in relation to “Gut Bacteria”, I was at the conference two days ago at UCC where the professor of the psychiatry Ted Dinan demonstrated the effect of gut bacteria on mood and anxiety and depression. He also noted that the weight of gut bacteria was equivalent to the brain and carries more than 50% of our total DNA information. Australian tv did an excellent series “Gut reaction” which you can watch on my web and Facebook pages.
- Yesterday Israeli research announce that they have developed eye drops of Nano Particles that will dispense with the need for reading glasses- a paradigm shift in the making.
- When I first used umbilical cord stem-cells 11 years ago it made international news- now stem- cells are used daily in reconstructive surgery, joint repair etc.
- In psychology the publication of Roger Callahan’s “ five minute phobia cure” in 1982 evolved into TFT described in his book “Tapping the healer within”, which spawned an entire range of self-help therapies beneficial to patients worldwide, such as BSFF, TAT, EMDR and EFT, all of which are used in my clinic.
- In physical medicine a new paradigm was set in train with the publication of Dr. Janet Travell’s textbook” The Trigger Point Manual” ( She was physician to president John F Kennedy).
Some years later Dr. Carl Ferrari of New York published his book on Dyslexia and developed an entire new protocol “ Neural Organisation Therapy” For muscular an neuro logical problems including Dyslexia and Scoliosis which I have incorporated in my medical practice over the past 30 years.
Hahnemann 260 years ago postulated a vital life force. This could soon be vindicated scientifically.
So today we have two exciting speakers to share their vast experiences with low dose- physiological regulating medicine (PRN). From Milan Italy Dr. Alessandro Perra and From Belfast Dr. David Hefferon.
You must watch to the end to get the happiness prescription! Dr Sean Dunphy.
At this time of year you may be energetically and economically burnt out so here at Dunphy Medical we’d like to share some easy and cost-effective tips to have you on-track for the new year.
1. Golden Honey – Honey is delicious and has antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties and turmeric is an immune-boosting powerhouse, it is an excellent antioxidant and antibiotic; it has cancer-fighting properties and it is also anti-inflammatory. It has been used in Ayurvedic and eastern medicine for thousands of years, partly thanks to curcumin, it’s active phenol which also causes turmeric’s yellow colour.
Golden Honey is simply a mixture of these two ingredients, just mix 1 tbsp of tumeric powder with 100gr of raw organic honey, store in a clean glass jar, you can leave it at room temperature and take a spoon as needed.
http://www.WithFoodandLove.com recommends taking a spoonful directly in your mouth, or diluted as a drink with hot water, or taken as a spread on toast to ward off allergies in spring time.
And upon the first symptoms of colds and flu, http://www.BestHerbalHealth.com recommends keeping the Golden Honey mixture in your mouth until it completely dissolves for:
- Day 1 – Take ½ tsp. every hour during the day.
- Day 2 – Take ½ tsp. every two hours during the day.
- Day 3 – Take ½ tsp. three times a day.
Golden Honey is also useful to combat respiratory diseases and it lowers blood pressure, and turmeric reduces blood sugar levels.
Turmeric also causes muscle contractions of the gallbladder so avoid turmeric if you suffer from gallbladder disease.
2. A turmeric, lemon, cinnamon and black pepper drink is delicious, quick, healthy, warming and cheering at this time of year.
Simply add a pinch (or two) of turmeric, a pinch of cinnamon and a grind or two of black pepper to some hot water with some sliced lemon. Stir occasionally as the spices can sink to the bottom.
Black pepper makes the wonder-spice turmeric more easily absorbed by the body and cinnamon, along with tasting yummy and festive, also boasts anti-inflammatory properties and helps regulate blood-sugar levels.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cinnamon is used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction.
According to a study in Diabetes Care, cinnamon may help improve glucose and lipid levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, and at Tel Aviv University researchers discovered that cinnamon may help prevent Alzheimers disease.
Cinnamon may also help stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosis (MS) according to a neurological scientist at Rush University Medical Center, and Penn State researchers revealed that diets rich in cinnamon can help reduce the body’s negative responses to eating high-fat meals.
Lemon has antioxidants and vitamin C which is always useful, but it’s particularly great when the immune system is busy battling colds, flus and various bugs at this time of year.
3. Exercise! It boosts the immune system, causes a rush of endorphins and it is vital to balance your body and your brain to keep you healthy and happy. Here’s a favourite video of ours that nicely sums up the benefits of exercise.
4. Smile and Laugh! It floods the body with feel-good chemicals called endorphins, it relieves stress, boosts the immune system, relieves pain, improves heart health (it improves blood vessel function and increases blood flow) and it fosters social bonding.
And it’s 100% free, it has no side-effects (bar perhaps the odd wrinkle!) and almost everyone can do it almost everywhere, but best of all, it’s contagious! So by making yourself happier and healthier, you’re also helping others to do the same!
5. Remember the ratio 5:1 – Eminent psychologist Maureen Gaffney has found that the golden ratio of positive to negative thoughts that you need everyday to push (or keep) your life in a positive, fulfilling upward spiral is 5 positive thoughts to 1 negative. So keep that in mind throughout the day and pay attention to all the positives, there may be many more than you realise! For more tips on making 2015 your best year yet check out Gaffney’s book called ‘Flourishing’.
This video has some very inspiring ideas to start the new year with.
2015 is looking increasingly promising!
An exhibition of paintings and sculptures by 12 artists are on display at the wonderfully restored Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven, Co. Cork until the end of September.
Dr. Sean Dunphy (AKA Dr. J.B. Dunphy) was invited to give the opening address to a large international gathering, including participants from USA, Finland, Estonia, UK, France, etc.
Dr. Dunphy complimented the volunteers for the great restoration of this unique Fort overlooking Cork harbour – and the artists who presented their work for this exhibition, so beautifully arranged by artistic director Dorothee Roberts.
“As some of you may know I work as a general medical practitioner at the Cork Road Medical Clinic in Carrigaline. I share my clinic with a homeopath, a French cranial osteopath, a psychologist and an art therapist. We share lots of useful information and videos on our blog which is free to use www.dunphymedicalcarrigaline.com.
As I’m not an art expert, I decided to take a humorous look at what others have said about art and artists. People often complain that art, music and fashion has gone too far. So the question I pose is ‘How Far is Too Far?’
So I started my research with my favourite poet/songwriter and sometime artist Leonard Cohen – who the Cork wits nicknamed ‘Leonard Moan’ and sure enough he came up trumps.
“I came so far for beauty,
I left so much behind,
My patience and my family,
My masterpiece unsigned.”
From there I checked out an old reliable Oscar Wilde – the quotation I chose was influenced by the fact that my nephew Miles Dunphy is one of Ireland’s foremost upcoming fashion designers currently based in London (www.milesdunphy.com) “One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art.”
Fellow Corkonian Graham Norton once commented on Michaelangelo’s David “now there’s a guy who works out.” I’m not sure if he’d agree with Rita Mae Brown’s opinion “that if Michaelangelo had been a heterosexual , the Sistine Chapel would have been painted basic white and with a roller.”
Renoir once commented that “I would never have taken up painting if women did not have breasts.”
And Salvador Dali famously said that I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.”
Patrick Kavanagh who wrote my favourite song made famous by Luke Kelly Raglin Road “there is something wrong with a work of art if it can be understood by a policeman.”
Tom Hobbs suggested that “Van Gough would have sold more than one painting if he had put tigers in them.”
John Ciardi said that “modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves they have a better idea.”
“Many painters have made beautiful works out of repulsive objects – Picasso enjoys making repulsive works of art out of beautiful objects.”
I like Nancy Banks Smith’s observation on modern architecture “in my experience, if you have to keep the toilet door shut by extending your left leg, it’s modern architecture.”
Frank Lloyd Wright whose house I stopped in outside Chicago, “a doctor can bury his mistakes, an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”
I find that one learns something new everyday. A few weeks ago my daughter Liz wrote a full page feature on Crosshaven – in which she noted that Crosshaven had been mentioned twice in James Joyce’s Ulysses. That was news to me, I thought that, like most people I knew all there was to know about Ulysses, even though like most people I had never read it! Except for Molly’s soliloquy at the end of the book which David Norris explains brilliantly.
Although I did know that two of Joyce’s nieces were borders at Crosshaven Convent School at the time.
Which returns me to my theme, ‘how far is too far?’
In Joyce’s earlier work ‘Portrait of an artist’ Stephen Dedalus who academics describe as Joyce’s alter ego tells his buddy that he has decided, in spite of being raised Catholic and schooled by Jesuits, he has decided to turn his back on God and become an atheist. His buddy suggests why not join the Church of Ireland instead?? To which Stephen replies “I’d never go that far!”
The exhibition features work by well-known local artists Raffael Cappieri, Liz Charleson, Mandy Dale, Fiona Devlin, Liz Kavanagh, Maeve McManamon, Charlie Mountjoy, Lousie O’Shea, Constance Roberts, Dorothee Roberts, Carmel Smyth and Mick Wilkins.