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Party like poet this St. Patrick's Day

Green beer and enchanting rhymes  March 15


By Carl Japikse

Green beer and enchanting rhymes will flow on Tuesday, March 15, as the Georgia Poetical Cooperative honors Irish poets and all descendents of the Emerald Isle in a special pre-St. Patrick’s Day performance called “Erin Go Bragh.” The evening will celebrate Irish poetry and Irish drinking songs.

Everyone is guaranteed to see leprechauns and other wee folk by the end of the evening.  The performance will be staged at Appalachia restaurant on Steve Tate Highway just outside Big Canoe’s north gate. All fans of great poetry and Ireland are invited.

The GPC cast will perform poems by Irish bards from William Butler Yeats, Oliver Goldsmith, Katherine Tynan, and C.S. Lewis to Thomas Moore, Jonathan Swift, G.W. Russell, Spike Milligan and Oscar Wilde.

In between poems it will regale the audience with boisterous examples of Irish drinking songs—recited, not sung—ranging from Jug of Punch, Rosin the Beau  and Whiskey You’re the Devil to Tim Finnegan’s Wake, I’ll Tell My Ma and The Moonshiner. The audience will be asked to raise a glass or two of beer or ale – or Irish whisky, if they like – throughout the course of the evening.

“I think Irish poems and Irish songs blend perfectly together,” explains Carl  Japikse, the evening’s organizer and emcee.   “I expect one of the highlights of the show will be our performance of Percy French’s song, The Mountains of Mourne, at the end of Act One.

“Great poetry is meant to be performed, not just recited,” Japikse adds. “We try to bring down the rafters with every show we present. It will be our goal to raise a ruckus everyone can enjoy.  Our sole purpose in this presentation in to bring good cheer to everyone in the room.

William Butler Yeats, left, will be among the bards celebrated at the poetry performance.


“We are delighted to lift a jug in tribute to Ireland and everything Irish in this show.”

The cast of the Georgia Poetical Cooperative for this performance will consist of Bent Tree resident Janet Vardaman, the Progress’s own Jeff Warren and Big Canoe residents Jim Puhger and Carl Japikse.

The Georgia Poetical Cooperative is presenting six public performances of poetry during 2011. The first, “Excelsior,” was held in January – an evening of the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “William Blake: Chariots of Fire” will be staged in May, “Vagabondia: Poems of the Carefree Life” will follow in July and “John Masefield: Down to the Sea Again” will end the season in November.  The September meeting will be a member’s only evening.

The festivities will begin with dinner at 6:30 Tuesday evening, March 15. The performance will commence at 7:30 and run until 8:45.

There is no charge for the performance, although each person attending will be expected to pay for any food and beverage ordered from the restaurant. Those who plan to attend are asked to call Japikse at 706- 579-1274 or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by noon on the day of the show in order to reserve a seat. It is not necessary to make a reservation with the restaurant.

Attendance is limited by the capacity of the room, so reserve space as early as possible.

Appalachia, An American Grill, is located at 3909 Steve Tate Highway in Marble Hill, just south of the north entrance into Big Canoe. Owned by Jason and Krissy Fitts, it is one of the highest-rated restaurants in the area. It is reached easily from Jasper by driving east on Cove Road and north on Steve Tate Highway. Appalachia is on the left side of the road in a couple of miles.

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