Tag: poetry

Culture

Writing at a time of plague

The Black Death was the most devastating pandemic ever recorded, resulting in the death of between 75 and 125 million people. It reached its peak in Europe between 1347 and 1351, having come on Italian merchant ships from Asia via the Silk Road. In fact the idea of quarantine originates […]

Culture

Power: Aude Lorde

The recent demonstrations that began in Minnesota following the murder of George Floyd by a white cop are not only a continuation of the past seven years of the Black Lives Matter movement but of decades of struggle by black people against a racist police force, which functions to uphold […]

Culture Narrated

The wayfarer

THANKS TO the current pandemic, Ireland was unable to publicly remember the Easter Rising of 1916, its aspirations for an independent socialist republic, its heroic leaders. Many of these leaders were poets and writers. Patrick Pearse’s poem “The Wayfarer” was written on the eve of his execution, in Kilmainham Gaol.

The beauty of the world hath made me sad, This beauty that will pass; Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,

Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk, Or little rabbits in a field at evening, Lit by a slanting sun,

Culture

A first anthology of working people’s poetry

Jenny Farrell (editor), The Children of the Nation: An Anthology of Working People’s Poetry from Contemporary Ireland (Newcastle upon Tyne: Culture Matters, 2019).
This anthology deals with the identity of the working class, the marginalised, people in precarious employment, the unemployed, the homeless. The title of the collection recalls the pledge made in the Proclamation of 1916.

Culture

Walking with Gandhi

Gabriel Rosenstock, Walk with Gandhi / Bóthar na Saoirse, illustrated by Masood Hussain (Dublin: Gandhi 150 Ireland, 2019, paperback, hardback, and Ebook).
This is a beautiful book to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2 October 1869. The book is a collection of haiga—a style of Japanese painting often accompanied by a haiku poem.

Culture

Thanks, capitalism!

Thanks, capitalism. You started off all right and all, but I’m afraid you have to leave! You’ve eaten, binned or hidden all the food, you’ve drunk all the drink or poured it down the sink, you’ve blocked all the toilets and used up all the paper. You’ve left the taps […]

Current Affairs

Ye are many—they are few Percy Bysshe Shelley and the struggle against tyranny

On 16 August 1819 tens of thousands of working men and women demonstrated at a place known as St Peter’s Field in Manchester, demanding reform and the repeal of the Corn Laws. The yeomanry and then hussars were ordered to attack, killing eighteen people and injuring more than four hundred. With the recent memory of the Battle of Waterloo, this slaughter went down in history as Peterloo. Shelley reacted with one of the earliest works of socialist literature, his famous ballad “The Mask of Anarchy.” This month we mark the 200th anniversary of those events and of Shelley’s great poem.

Culture

Freedom becoming

Thro’ the shattered mainstream of life the waste land bears testimony to the shadow Hear mothers wail for dead children whose fathers slave to re-erect the rubble Upon the rubble their fathers erected This alter for sacrificed generations Build fast! Build furious! Erect the citadels of despair Light high in […]

Culture

I Come And Stand At Every Door

Originally a poem by the great Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet and translated into English by Jeannette Turner. Here Gabriel Rosenstock translates Pete Seeger’s version of this great antiwar song (https://tinyurl.com/pnyykae).   Im’ sheasamh ar gach tairseach bím   Im’ sheasamh ar gach tairseach bím Ní chloistear áfach mo choiscéim An […]

Culture

Poetry: Fóntacht na filíochta

Leabhar dátheangach (Fraincis–Béarla) é If the Symptoms Persist, dánta le Francis Combes aistrithe go Béarla ag Alan Dent agus foilsithe ag Smokestack Books (www.smokestack-books.co.uk). Creideann Combes san fhilíocht, filíocht de shaghas áirithe, une poésie d’utilité publique. Is réabhlóideach an dearcadh é sin ar go leor slite. File réabhlóideach é Combes. […]