A Terrible Beauty: Poetry of 1916 by Mairead Ashe FitzGerald

By Mairead Ashe FitzGerald

Ireland's Easter 1916 emerging used to be led by way of a mixture of infantrymen and exchange unions but in addition visionaries and writers. This choice of poems includes the desires and visions of freedom and nationhood for eire through those artists, targeting earlier than, in the course of, and after the 1916 emerging. Poets contain: Padraic Pearse, W.B. Yeats, Joseph Mary Plunkett, James Stephens, Eva Gore-Booth, George Russell, Padraic Colum, Sean O'Casey, Dora Sigerson Shorter, Thomas Ashe, Katharine Tynan, and lots of extra.

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MacDonagh was already well known in literary circles by the time he came to St Enda’s. His play When the Dawn is Come (with its theme of Irish insurrection) was accepted by WB Yeats and Lady Gregory and staged in the Abbey Theatre in 1907. He had published three books of poetry by 1906. As early as 1903 he had sent some of his poems to WB Yeats, who responded with advice and encouragement. Yeats advised him to read and translate from Irish in order to fully experience the Irish mode of expression.

Nor shall he know when loud March blows Thro’ slanting snows her fanfare shrill, Blowing to flame the golden cup Of many an upset daffodil. And when the Dark Cow leaves the moor, And pastures poor with greedy weeds, Perhaps he’ll hear her low at morn Lifting her horn in pleasant meads. IRELAND I called you by sweet names by wood and linn, You answered not because my voice was new, And you were listening for the hounds of Finn And the long hosts of Lugh. And so, I came unto a windy height And cried my sorrow, but you heard no wind, For you were listening to small ships in flight, And the wail on hills behind.

I listened to the sorrows three Of that Éire passed into song. A cock crowed near a hazel croft, And up aloft dim larks winged strong. And I, too, told the kings a story Of later glory, her fourth sorrow: There was a sound like moving shields In high green fields and the lowland furrow. ’ Sweet music flowed from many a bill And on the hill the morn stood queenly. ’ A bomb burst near me where I lay. I woke, ’twas day in Picardy. France, January 1917 O’CONNELL STREET A noble failure is not vain, But hath a victory its own.

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