A small exhibition of Christmas cards from the Sweeney Papers will be on display in the foyer of UCD Archives during the month of December, from 10.00-16.00.
Please click on the images below for enlargements.
‘I, having built a house, reject/The feud of eye and intellect, …’ (1960).
Bronowski Christmas Cards in UCDA LA52 The John L. (Jack) and Máire MacNeill Sweeney Papers in UCD Archives
Jack Sweeney was curator of the Harvard Poetry Room and his wife, Máire MacNeill (daughter of Eoin MacNeill) was a folklorist who worked for the Irish Folklore Commission and later taught in the Department of Celtic Studies at Harvard. The collection of their papers deposited in UCD Archives, consists mostly of letters to Jack and Máire from a large number of poets, playwrights, artists and critics, concerning the progress of their own work and its publication. They also discuss developments in contemporary culture and letters, Irish writers and literature, their views of the work of other writers, arrangements for public readings, news of mutual friends, and personal and social affairs and travels.
‘It was a sign, it was a bird,/It was a toy, it was absurd— …’ (1961).
‘He wore sandals and a beard;/What he said had not been cleared. …’ (1967).
The letters sometimes include additional items. Examples include photographs by noted photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) [LA52/48] and Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882–1966) [LA52/56] and prints of wood and copper engravings by artist and poet David Jones (1895–1974) [LA52/173]. As the correspondence is largely conducted amongst friends, the collection also includes cards of varying kinds. A selection of Christmas cards sent from the renowned polymath, Jacob Bronowski (1908–74) and his wife, sculptor and artist, Rita Bronowski née Coblentz (1917–2010) is reproduced here. Each of the five cards consists of original art by Rita and original poems by Jacob (Bruno). In a BBC interview with Michael Parkinson broadcast in 1974, Jacob Bronowski commented that while he no longer wrote poetry for publication, he wrote one poem a year which he printed on Christmas cards for his friends and which commented on the year’s events.
‘Beyond the walls of dogma bloom/(You must believe me) fields of broom. …’ (1968).
‘Again the desert re-deploys/Its haunted armies of despair, …’ (1970).
A small exhibition of Christmas cards from the Sweeney Papers will be on display in the foyer of UCD Archives during the month of December, from 10.00-16.00. The exhibition will include cards from Alvin Langdon Coburn (featuring prints of his own photographs), David Jones (featuring his painted inscriptions) and an edition of T.S. Eliot’s The Cultivation of Christmas Trees (1954) illustrated by David Jones. Please drop by and have a look!
UCD Archives, LA52/41 Papers of John L. (Jack) and Máire MacNeill Sweeney
©2015 The Rita Bronowski Trust. Used by permission.