Continuity and transition in the poetry of James Tevlin (1798-1873).
Riocht na Midhe, 16.
The notable folk-poet, James Tevlin, from Billywood, Moynalty, was born in 1798 and died in 1873. Tevlin's poems had a wide circulation in Meath, Cavan, Louth and Westmeath, according to the Irish scholar Henry Morris, writing in 1933. Tevlin is one of the group of poets in north Meath who were known personally by the prolific scribe, Peter Gallegan, who recorded their work in his numerous manuscripts. As well as Tevlin, there was Peter Daly of Carnaross, Matthew Monaghan of Mullagh, Peter Coalrake and Michael Clarke, both of Nobber, HughMcDonnell of Drunconrath and Fr. Paul O'Brien of Cormeen, who became the first professor of Irish in Maynooth College. These poets wrote in Irish and in English, or sometimes in macaronic verse, where the two languages are combined in the same poem. Hence their work, like that of Tevlin, marks them as part of the transition from Irish to English, a change which accelerated rapidily in Meath throughout the nineteenth century.
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