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Bones from the plague decorate the church in Bohemia

This is a church in Sedlec (a little village outside Prague). The story is a knight went to the holy land during the Crusades and returned with some holy dirt. He sprinkled it outside the church. It became prime real estate for the departed. Big gold coins if you want a place in the holy graveyard. So the places filled up fast. Then the plague came and lots and lots of people died. There were too many bones from the dead. So later a wee monk dug up the bones. He mades nice decorations of all the bones in the church. More room. And art. Ah glorious art. So white and pure. Holy robes indeed.


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I began the first half of this article (Notre Dame Review #4) by mentioning some of the limits to the legendary hospitality Ireland has shown to its poets. If you arrive in Ireland from any point of departure outside of Eastern Europe, you will indeed find a public far more willing than the one you left behind to grant poets the recognition all but the most ascetic secretly crave. However, this hospitality has never extended to Irish poets w…