Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Northern Ireland Question by Desmond Egan

I don't normally post other people's poetry, but Desmond Egan is one of my poetic heroes (for his brilliant use of images and strong pacifist message). His poem is only two unrhymed couplets long, but its message is powerful. Try reading it slowly, out loud.

The Northern Ireland Question
by Desmond Egan

Two wee girls
were playing [tag] near a car...

how many counties would you say
are worth their scattered fingers?

This poem was written around the time when the Irish poeple were voting on the Belfast Agreement, which would mark the end of almost 40 years of civil-ethno-terrorism, in which countless civilians were murdered and innumarable human rights violated, the reprecussions of which are still felt today. The whole Northern Ireland vs. Republic of Ireland conflict itself stems from the most stupid and insignificant root, namely whether or not Ireland should be considered a part of the UK or a unified Irish entity separate from the UK. There are some people in the 6 counties that make up Northern Ireland that think of themselves as Brittish (for social, historical, and ethnical reasons) and some that think themselves Irish (for the exact same reasons). They therefore believe that because of this unresolvable conflict of opinions, they should kill each other's children. Yeah, I agree with Egan, that if we are debasing human life to a currency, in any situation, we should closly evalute what we're buying with it, if its actually worth it.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." - Jesus Christ, God-Incarnate and Reedemer of Mankind.

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