Sunday, 4 December 2011

Teachers, poets, have much to answer for in Ireland...

"They think they have foreseen everything, but the fools! the fools! the fools! they have left us our Fenian dead; and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace."

Well… we’ve been “free” now for nigh-on 90 years, and we’re still not at peace. In fact it’s arguable that we are relatively worse off since blood-sacrifice headbanger Patrick Pearse made his signature oratory at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa in 1915.

There are people out there, perhaps in the majority, who still think those oft-quoted words constitute a profound statement.   The patriot living tend  to recall the following, penned by the same author, less frequently:

Little lad of the tricks,
Full well I know
That you have been in mischief:
Confess your fault truly.

I forgive you, child
Of the soft red mouth:
I will not condemn anyone
For a sin not understood.

Raise your comely head
Till I kiss your mouth:
If either of us is the better of that
I am the better of it.

There is a fragrance in your kiss
That I have not found yet
In the kisses of women
Or in the honey of their bodies.

Lad of the grey eyes,
That flush in thy cheek
Would be white with dread of me
Could you read my secrets.

He who has my secrets
Is not fit to touch you:
Is not that a pitiful thing,
Little lad of the tricks ?

Pearse, conveniently, was a schoolteacher – as was Dev himself (see pic above, kindly sent in by a reader). Quite a few other of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, with its two invocations to God, were self-proclaimed poets... as most poets are.

Then you had once-socialist-internationalist James Connolly (who had seen Esperanto as the future lingua franca of a liberated proletariat... language being a barrier to international unity and understanding) getting all disillusioned after the failure of the 1912 Lockout and the slaughter of the First World War, throwing his lot  -  and his Citizen Army comrades  -  in with the vanguard nationalists, Catholic supremacists, and Gaelic Leaguers of the emerging Irish bourgeoisie.

Is it any wonder things worked out the way they did?

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Ella said...

Hi GM, dosen't he just look like a barrel of laughs, not!

Bill Chapman said...

Dare I suggest that a union of Ireland and the United Kingdom would be a useful way ahead for Ireland? The two states have been closely involved with one another for many, many centuries - with very friendly relations for mosdt opf that time.

Such a move would allow Ireland to withdraw with honour from the euro and revert to the pound. It would be the pound stirling, but the Irish could call it the punt if they want.

I should point out that I'm not a schoolteacher.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Ella. Yeah... great man for a laugh over a few beers, I'd say.

@ BIll. Glad to hear it!! ;-)

John said...

"Ireland is a peculiar society in the sense that it was a nineteenth century society up to about 1970 and then it almost bypassed the twentieth century."
- Author John McGahern

I think that sums it up!!

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes John.. a bit like Sinn Fein. It contains some of the greatest minds of the 19th Century.

I must say, however, that I find Pearse's urges rather prescient, given the later rampant paedophilia of our church-run schools in the State partly inspired by him.

John said...

True enough, GM, I always found Pearse a strange figure in history.
His dad was English,a fact the history books at achool never pointed out. The former school run by Patrick Pearse is now a museum
worth a visit(free entry). I think his methods of education would not be acceptable today. I get the impression that Pearse was sexually repressed.Interesting that Dev let the school go bankrupt in the 1930's , despite the all Irish language and Pearse etc:

russell said...

"Blood sacrifice headbanger"....hilarious.

Dakota said...

What was it for, the grand sacrifice? The majority of the population had 90 years of pain, subjugated to catholicism (nothing more than a severe form of mind control). At the end of it, a decade subjugated to greed, stupidity, pap, pulp, insane fixations, acute delusions and an admiration of UK chav culture. Now, subjugated to austerity, loss of sovereignty, mis-directed aggression and a heightened delusion only found among the Irish.

What was the fully costed economic manifesto of the instigators of 1916? What is they say about history repeating itself?