The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Monday, March 21, 2016

the blurst of times

(celebrating the Easter Rising with the Heelers Diaries)

The quadrangle at Newbridge College.
Okay, the playground.
I am declaiming poetry.
"Am I such a craven
That I would not get the word
But for that some poor man
Had heard I had not heard
Then on Pearse and Connolly
He fixed a bitter look
Because I helped to wind the clock
I came to hear it strike"
There was a silence after my declamation stopped.
I began to explain that the poem was about a character called the O'Rahilly ('the' is an Irish honorific) discovering Padraig Pearse had kidnapped another rebel leader Bulmer Hobson who had first sworn Pearse into the movement, and now Pearse was about to start the Rising against Hobson's wishes and more importantly against the express wishes of the Irish people, as evidenced by 200,000 Irish people joining the British army to fight Imperial Germany at the time, and that O'Rahilly having declared like Hobson that there was no justification for a Rising, and having ordered the rebel units under his control not to take part, came along anyway and took part in it himself, supposedly intoning the classic euphemism for killing people and ruining cities and enslaving nations to mafioso IRA gangs, to wit, the bit about clocks and winding and hearing them strike.
Mugs Baines interrupted me.
"You picked a bad rhyme at the end," he said "Instead of 'I came to hear it strike,' you should have put 'I came to hear it struck."
Ah yes.
The old dilemma.
How to explain to him that this was a WB Yeats poem not one of mine.
Having already just cast doubt on his romantic notions that the 1916 Rising was the Revolution from Happy Land supported by all and sundry, with unicorns for armoured cars and lollypop machine guns and candy floss garottes, I thought it best not to shatter any more of his deeply held convictions at this point in time.
Let him think I wrote Yeats.
As bifurcated belief systems go, it was about as credible as everything else he believed about the heroes of 1916.
Sure what harm could come of it.


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