Voices of the Harp(s)

Response to Irish Melodies, “Dear Harp of my Country,” by Thomas Moore.


The harp represents valuable cultural history rich in societal placement due to its sophistication and technicality that later became an instrument of saving the Irish tradition. The harp was used within the aristocratic class in the early history of Ireland. Its sophistication is what drew to the value of Irish culture but never directed towards the people themselves. Despite the art of playing the harp it never stopped the racist ideology towards Ireland and its people. Ireland alien and regarded as a barbarous country.

However, Thomas Moore’s Irish melody encompasses the suffering and subjugation of his people. The title, “Dear Harp of my Country,” metaphorical expression in lifting the art of the state of Ireland and the art of the harp. The “darkness,” the Irishmen felt was uplifted with freedom, light, and songs. However, as time progressed light casts shadows, in this case, something short-lived, “I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over…” My interpretation of Moore’s poem is about the country and the use of harp as personification as an extension. The harp was famous a national pride and symbol. But, the decline in its use and societal changes have dimmed. Like the harp, Ireland was a place that had freedom of the self and religion. However, those with an upper hand in society and power created the “cold chains of silence.” In other words, oppression and alienation by objectifying Ireland as a barbarous nation.

— Karla Garcia Barrera

4 thoughts on “Voices of the Harp(s)

  1. The main thesis of this poem is that Moore combats the subjugation of the Irish through the symbol of the harp. I liked the close reading of the shift in tone that you noticed. In the future, I would focus more on close readings and subtext. Although surface readings clearly show nationalism, I liked how you talked about the emotions of the speaker. Would like to see more of that. Cheers.


  2. The thesis is that the Harp was a nationalist symbol which was used by Moore to combat the denigration of his pub nation. It could be improved by clearer writing, more references to the source text, and by clarifying and expanding upon the closing ideas


  3. This is an interesting interesting look into the cultural and historical significance of the harp within Irish society. It seems to me that the thesis of this post is that the harp represents the resistance of the Irish people in the face of subjugation at the hands of the British. The only issues I could find were some minor grammatical errors but those are easily fixed. Good post overall.


  4. It is an interesting connection that the Irish harp is able both, symbolically in poems, and literally in the performance of said poems, raise the Irish from their oppression. Perhaps the incorporation of more quotes from the text would help better support your thesis.

    -Daniel R.


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