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“The echo of this keen (Irish – "caoine"), softened by the passage of time and the sharing of friendship, can perhaps be picked up in the cadences of the poem.”
“Their names are blest, their caoine sung; our bitter tears are dried;”
“We feel Synge must have followed those people carrying the dead body, and touched to the quick by the _caoine_, passed the touch on to us, for in the lyric swell of the close we get the true emotion.”
“The Irish keen [_caoine_] may still be heard in Algeria and Upper Egypt, even as Herodotus heard it chanted by Lybian women.”
“I believe the stories of banshees must have arisen from the sound of the caoine.”
“At Cong, for the first time in my life, I heard the Irish lament or caoine for the dead.”
“After the burial service was over the women, kneeling by the new made grave, among the rank wet grass, and the dripping ivy, raised the caoine.”
“And Blath says that she will sing the _caoine, _the keening at the interment. ”
“I was sure of it when I heard that she had a good voice and, moreover, knew the _caoine, _the keening, the lament for the dead.”
“I have heard the _caoine _and know it would have been only a small step from producing that terrible sound to producing the wail associated with a Banshee. ”
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Selections from Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne (University Books, 1974). Definitions in the comments when not available elsewhere.
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