Publication

'the silly treun': an odd bird identified

Smith, John B
Laoire, Lillis Ó
Repository DOI
Publication Date
2009-07-01
Type
Article
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Citation
Smith, John B; Laoire, Lillis Ó (2009). 'the silly treun': an odd bird identified. Folk Life 47 , 51-57
Abstract
We proceed from Seumas MacManus's 1905 poem 'The Silly Treun', in which the Donegal poet portrays as risible the claim made by a treun alias corncrake that, as it lies on its back, it is holding up the sky with its feet. This narrative clearly has medieval predecessors, in which, however, the protagonist is always a wren. Linguistic evidence is presented for and against the view that it was MacManus himself who transmuted wren to corncrake. The relationship between the poem and wellerisms featuring wrens is also explored, as are French traditions in which wrens are portrayed as ridiculously vainglorious.
Funder
Publisher
Informa UK Limited
Publisher DOI
10.1179/175967009x422693
Rights
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland