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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Curtin - Four-Leafed Shamrock - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Why won't Ireland ever be known for Rock Bands?
Because they're better known for Shamrocks.
March is not just Dr. Seuss's birthday month and Reading Month, it's also a time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Ireland's contributions such as the Blarney Stone and telling blarney!
Today and in the next post enjoy some Irish folktales with a wee Michigan connection starting with, born in Detroit, Jeremiah Curtin.  A major 19th century collector of Irish folktales, Curtin's focus really was on other aspects of folklore and travels.
Appropriate to the opening Sham-joke, here is his story of the importance of The Four-Leafed Shamrock











My mother used to walk through my yard and find four-leafed clovers.  I wonder if they tried to keep enchantment and devilment from me?  My partner in the children's room back at Mount Clemens Public Library, Marge Kinzy, always had a pot of shamrocks, although I never saw any with four leaves.

This story came from Curtin's Tales of the Fairies and of the Ghost World.  The widest listing of his other works online can be found at the Online Books Page and shows the variety of his work.

Now before I close with my standard comments about Keeping the Public in Public Domain, I want to note an online database of International Folktales,
Yashpheh (Jasper), is a labor of love by fellow storyteller, Dr. Yoel Perez, in Haifa, Israel.  He, too, wants to Keep the Public in Public Domain and storytelling.
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This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories. 

At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my normal monthly posting of a research project here.  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings as often as I can manage it.   


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