Yes, I missed last week and am late posting today.. Blame birthdays, I have attended no less then 6 in the past two weeks! So onto todays poem. Its by a poet I have heard of but never read till lately. That poet is Langston Hughes. He is referenced in “Rent” thats what made me seek him out. One of his poems has struck a chord with me. That poem is “Democracy”.
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
What a poem. Though written in a different era in relation to Human Rights in the US, it can still apply to other places where Human Rights are denied, where people starve cause of Government actions, where people are intimtaed to vote a certian way, where any abuse by government takes place.
I hope you like the poem too
I realise I have missed the last two weeks for various reasons, but we are back now! This week I have chosen a poem by William Butler Yeats and it is a poem that is new to me, but I know the story around it. The poem is “Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites“
Come gather round me, Parnellites,
And praise our chosen man;
Stand upright on your legs awhile,
Stand upright while you can,
For soon we lie where he is laid,
And he is underground;
Come fill up all those glasses
And pass the bottle round.
And here’s a cogent reason,
And I have many more,
He fought the might of England
And saved the Irish poor,
Whatever good a farmer’s got
He brought it all to pass;
And here’s another reason,
That Parnell loved a lass.
And here’s a final reason,
He was of such a kind
Every man that sings a song
Keeps Parnell in his mind.
For Parnell was a proud man,
No prouder trod the ground,
And a proud man’s a lovely man,
So pass the bottle round.
The Bishops and the party
That tragic story made,
A husband that had sold his wife
And after that betrayed;
But stories that live longest
Are sung above the glass,
And Parnell loved his countrey
And Parnell loved his lass.
A lovely poem to remember Charles Stewart Parnell. He praises him for what he has done for the Irish and for his love of a women, which was his downfall. I must say, this poem brings back all my Irish History for my leaving cert and could probably write one of the essays we had on Parnell, with the Land War and the Land Acts! It was a time when Irish politics were different and Parnell was a true Irishman and fought for this country in Westminster. Its a pity there was an ignominious end to his political career cause we might have gotten Home Rule sooner then we did.
What do ye think of the poem?
This week I have picked another Poem by an Irish poet. I am very patriotic since I came to Germany! This week I have chosen “On Raglan Road” by Patrick Kavangh (1904 – 1967)
On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.
On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay –
O I loved too much and by such and such is happiness thrown away.
I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May
On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –
When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.
This poem has been in my head for the last two weeks or so. The problem was it was the second verse, I couldnt remember the first! I studied this poem for my Leaving Cert back in 2004 (God that makes me feel old now) and is probably one of my favourite Kavangh poems, I also like “Epic” and “Inniskeen Road: July Evening” which I also studied.
This poem, of course, can be sung, which is what I think draws me to it as I like to sing. I don’t know the original words to “Dawning of the Day” but the Sinead O’Connor version of this song is well worth looking up. I have never sang this song in public, but its one I might consider singing in the future.