Saturday, May 9, 2009

A little late, but no less important

May 5th is just passed. This year is the 28th anniversary of the death of Irish political prisoner and hunger striker, Bobby Sands. I like to mark this occasion by refelecting on my Irish heritage, the long history of struggle on the Irish mainland, and the futre of Irish Nationalism as an observer from the U.S.

Between May and September 1916, W. B. Yeats wrote one of his best known poems, "Easter, 1916". It commemorates the Easter uprising of earlier that year, a failed attempt to ignite a general uprising, but an event that directly inspired the later Irish Revolution that would ultimately end in the formation of the Irish Republic, albeit without the northern six counties.

Some of the most memorable lines of "Easter, 1916" are its last:
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.
Almost a century earlier an Englishman, John Keats, wrote in his "Ode on a Grecian Urn":

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
"A terrible beauty is born." "Beauty is truth." On that day in 1916, a terrible truth was born?

Googlebombing for a cause: 

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