Dear Woke of my Country

 

Dear Woke of my County

Dear woke of my county, darkness engulf all that we see.

The orange leader is killing us slowly.

I want to be proud of this nation, and it to be free.

All we do is give to this nation, but we lack equality.

Stay bright and loud to fight our way through this.

Have you woken up yet? This country was never great.

This country is spiralling into the abyss.

We need to clean the executive slate.

Dear woke of my country, be the light that we need.

Spread love and cleanse hate.

Don’t give up, we can succeed.

We must “Win”, because our county is at stake.

The pulse of the muslims and the mexicans,

Throbbed for the glory of this country.

We must unite Americans.

And get rid of this orange junkie.

Analysis

For this creative writing project I choose to imitate Thomas Moore poem, “Dear Harp of My Country.” Moore’s poem is centered around Irish nationalism, he writes to preserve and protect his culture. Moore want Ireland to be free from the choking grip of the United Kingdom. Britain’s imperial conquest during the 18 century effective began to silence Ireland’s culture. In 1763, Britain won the 7 years war, causing the formulated of the United Kingdom. Irish literature illustrates how the Irish were rebelling against the expectations to assimilate into British culture. This caused the tensions between Britain and Ireland to only rise. Moore is of Irish descent, meaning, that this poem is his attempts to preserve his culture in a time of “darkness.” Moore is proud to be an Irishman and his poem calls upon his countrymen to join in and fight for Ireland. I wanted to take this idea of use it for the basis for my intimation poem. Instead of uses it in the original setting, Ireland, I instead choose to use modern day America. I did this because I see that the Message in moore poem is relevant now in america because of the current presidency. Both Moore and I feel that our voices are not being heard our in politics. Trump seeks to minimize the people’s voice. We can not become silent to the wrong we see, because if we go silence and stop fighting we normalize the behavior and allow it to become culturally acceptable. Trumps hate is  harmful on what it means to be an American. I Call upon the America’s to stay “Woke” and continue to fight against inequality and hate that the White House is trying to force us to subscribe too. We need to be loud. We need to fight against President Trump  and prevent him from running this country into the ground. The term woke, is modern day slang about staying socially conscious. So if you’re “woke” spread the message and stay loud. The authorial voice I used for this poem was built in the context of modern day America. While I did want the voice of my essay to my own, I did want to keep it similar to the original. So I went through the original and picked out terms I liked and used it in my poem. Also, I kept the same structure and rhyming pattern as the original poem. my format choice were to more accurately imitate this poem. While my poem is similar to the original, it is still very different. The biggest difference between the two people is the seen in the voice and language.  When i was creating my poem, I choose a different setting than moore. This difference caused the caused the language of the poems to be different; but the similarities in purpose of the creation of the two poems  causes the two poems moods to be similar.

  • Conor Morgan

Why is Hiphop laying down, ready to die with No Pride? (The verses of a hiphop story; Fragments Of rap barse -2017-)

Image result for irish hip hop

I.

Why are the lyrics to hiphop sleeping?

Dreams turnt to nightmares.

Why is the mic hanging, weeping?

Is it, screaming, waking up to night terrs’?

II.

Damm! I rememba’ so simple then.

Like a sigh of an Emcee’s relief.

The beat to her heart was so Zen.

Now, its more like gutter street.

III.

Its like hiphop’s heart is trying to revive.

From funk, to trap, to confusing lyrics.

Its trying to borrow time, just to survive.

Went From pride to a broken spirit.

IV.

If it just tried to make a comeback

Remembering where it came from

When broken burroughs needed slack

From the oppression, that would hang em.

V.

They claimed it was the harder times.

That made them create a beat.

Theyd dance, sing, rap, and rhyme,

Pull out cardboards to the street.

VI

Its just like when Erin’s Harp lost its pride.

The Irish forced to abandon history.

But their true roots they could not hide.

Their inner harp played, through their misery.

VII.

Ya see, they found it, though twas buried.

Was meant to even die,

but resurrected, momentarily.

Just enough to add twinkle to their eyes.

VII.

So, you too emcee, need to remember.

Though tears fall from your speakers.

You said youd be back in November,

But its only looking bleeker.

VIII.

Stuck on a writers block?

Look for the inspiration.

You can hear it in the shot of a glock.

Or in the social class segregation.

IX.

Its in the eyes of a grieving mother’s woas.

Her two sons shot down.

Its in the broken impoverished homes.

That you see around town.

X.

Even if like Erin’s harp.

What only comes out is depression,

At least you release it from your heart.

Relieving pressure from the repression.

XI.

Even though, theyve taken over hip-hop

Those Record labels eradicating your intentions.

It’s time to revolt..fists up..put to a stop.

After all, you were the creator of this invention.

XII

The Irish “survived their Freedom’s vital blow”

Its just the same with you.

This defeat is something you cant let go.

You promised your hoods youd be true.

XIII.

Now, your story is even much more deep.

So much lyrics to express.

Overflowing, even beginning to seep.

Your delivery will be a success.

XIV.

Youll raise the chins of the depressed.

Brings smiles to kids with no hope.

Black, Chicano, Asian’ will be impressed.

Putting down the pipe and dope.

XV.

So, pick up the mic, that lay there hung.

Drop a sick-with-it beat.

“Erin Go brach, he boldly sung”

You, too, can bring life back to your streets.

Image result for hip hop culture and harpsImage result for erin go bragh graffiti

*I decided to create lyrical barse parodying that of “Why Sleeps the Harp of Erin’s Pride” by Sydney Owenson in order to create an understanding in regards to a culture that has gotten lost and appropriated by commercialization and artistic consumption.  Like the loss of the Harp, by the Irish, the true essence of hiphop amidst the general population has been in a comatose state too.  The origination of hiphop began in New York in the 1970’s and consisted of several elements: emceeing, DJing, breaking, and Graffiti.  Its purpose grew from the oppression that the most poor boroughs of New York were suffering through -mostly consisting of blacks and latinos.  They were starved of good education, access to healthy food, and a structured environment due to the zone’s severe neglect.  Then one day the neighborhood kids and folks made something out of nothing, and began putting together functions on the streets to speak on that repression and suffering, hence hip-hop.  But just like the Irish pride and culture, it has been forced to assimilate into a pop culture, being appropriated by major industries whom only want to profit off of the desperate artists whom are willing to sell their souls and mass produce music with zero intentions to raise awareness to social issues.  However, as mentioned in Owenson’s poem, “for still he sung the ills that flow,” meaning that despite the oppression, the Irish tried their best to keep their culture alive; similarly, there are those that still emcee with pride. They are known as underground artists.  They are continuing to spread the essence of hiphop, though theres been an attempt at it being buried, just like the Irish had to struggle through.

Image result for images saying free hiphop

Thomas Moore’s poem about the harp is short and to the point. It talks about a harp that once was a symbol of nationalism now being left unused and “mute” (3). This clearly is a metaphor for better “former days” (5), now that “glory’s thrill is o’er” (6). The past glory is personified by referring to its now unfelt “pulse” (8). This poem takes that image further, referring to Freedom that is barely moving anymore either.

An important component of this poem is the personification. Freedom is personified as a person or animal as is doesn’t wake often, is referred to as a she with a heart, and is referred to as living. This referral to Freedom as living is important to an understanding of the poem. The poet is not only talking about the past, he is talking about a present that has hope, that there is still a small amount of life to be found. Glory, of course, is personified and so are former days, whose pride now “sleeps” (5). The personification changes these ideas from the abstract to the physical world. The reader is presented with an image of a heart that is literally beating.

This poem’s rhyming structure is as follows: ababcdcd etc. Its meter is 8/6/8/6. These patterns are consistent throughout the poem. Thus the poem has a very rhythmic structure to it. This rhythm adds to our understanding of the old nationalism in that it appears there is a regularity to it. The heart beating in the present only occasionally at one point held the very “soul of music” (2).

Overall, there are several clear observations that can be made about the nationalism this is talking about. It is clearly alive, it is now dead, and rhythm and structure is the way of nationalism.

-Joshua Jolly

The Harp as a Memento of a Failed Relationship

Thomas Moore’s poem comes across as a breakup/it’s not you it’s me/I love you but please forget I ever existed, letter between the speaker and the personified instrument of the harp. The end rhyme consists of the pattern ABAB, CDCD, etc. which we know as the alternate rhyme scheme. What this suggests of the speaker is they are indecisive with their feelings toward the harp, and knowing the symbolic meaning of the harp, the rhyme scheme alone can be interpreted as Irish’s extreme doubt on whether uniting with England was the right decision. This is kind of like leaving your spouse to go play with your friends, who aren’t actually your friends but people who pretend to be in order to manipulate you.

The first stanza describes the narrator’s return to the harp, who they find with “The cold chain of silence” (2). This is the first step in realizing that neglecting the harp was their biggest mistake. Below the surface is their neglect on their Irishness. It’s like forgetting what the harp stood for and remembering after it is too late. Line four, “And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song!” is trying to bring the spark back into the relationship. Strumming chords is often associated with the heart and we often hear the term heartstrings used to represent emotions. Stanza two describes the beauty of the harp, but then “hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness” (7). The speaker sees they have broken the harp’s heart. We hear it only as an echo, so although the songs may still sound beautiful, there is a hint of sorrow, which is a perfect way to describe the sound of the harp. Stanza three is the speaker’s way of saying they are unworthy of the harp’s love and saying, “Till touch’d by some hand less unworthy than mine” (12). The physical and the literal representation of the harp no long holds any significance. This has been true ever since Ireland has decided to put their faith into someone else’s hands and leaving their identity behind. Leaving the harp behind is like leaving a legacy behind. What is left is all in the mind and all that matters is they keep the harp in their mind. Stanza four is the speaker asking the harp to forget the speaker ever existed saying, “I was but the wind, passing heedlessly over” (15).

Thomas Moore uses the concept of a relationship as a microcosm of the current event of his time. Those who do not know this particular history of Ireland can get a sense of how the people felt toward their home during the French Revolution. Moore’s poem shows that among the many things Ireland lost was their identity, and when they realized that, it was too late to turn back. This was when the revival of the harp occurred and used as a symbol of Irish identity. Therefore, the harp stands as a symbol of Ireland because of the music the harp produces. That music being an indeterminable emotion, a blend of happiness and sorrow.

-Van Vang

The Harp of India

In “The Harp of India,” Derozio expresses his love for his country and the sadness he feels having it be colonized through the sonnet he writes. Derozio uses a harp to represent his country, in the first couple of lines, he says:

“Why hang’st thou lonely on you withered bough?

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet– who hears it now?”

He speaks of India here as a “withered bough” that is being isolated from its own culture and being pushed aside to be forgotten. In saying the music was sweet, Derozio is saying that their culture and country was once so great, but ever since they were colonized it has disappeared.

It is interesting to note how Derozio decided to use inclusive language to prove that India is not the only country going through colonialism. The title suggests that the poem is about or inspired by India’s colonization. However, he never actually states that this poem is about India because he uses “my country” rather than simply saying India, this way it is more relatable to those who were also colonized by the British. Also when he says “harp of my country, let me strike the strain,” he uses the harp to represent the culture of the country. He wants to be able to regain his country with all the culture they once had. The only way to reestablish their country as their own is by resisting to change and not submitting to the culture others bring, like the British.

-Natalia Alvarado

The Harp of India

Colonization is a continuous theme that reoccurs around the world and India going through colonization was another issue that occurred within the poem “The Harp of India” by Henry Louis Vivian Derozio. The first line poses the question “Why hang’st thou lonely on yon withered bough?” The question describes a harp as “withered” something that has been untouched for days and has slowly become dilapidated.

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet – who hears it now?

It just shows that there was once this idealistic tone that made the music sound like a beauty. The beauty that was before the arrival of others who wanted to take control of them. They started to feel as if lost by the oppressor and stopped practicing their ideals. It kind of highlights the importance of culture before the arrival of the oppressor. They have their ideals that many people find foreign and different.

Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;

Thy music once was sweet – who hears it now?

Why doth the breeze sigh over thee in vain?

Their culture has been lost and all they can do is adapt to the ways that the settler have brought up to them in order to assimilate. There is nothing left to do but allow themselves to go and strip their identities into that which others are forcing them into. They will become like the oppressor in the sense that they are no longer who they said they were.

Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain;

Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:

The “neglected” and “mute” help to highlight the stop the Indian people were unable to regain their lost identity. Instead they are being slowly trained and kept away from the truth that they told themselves. They were saved and transitioned into that type of salvation however they knew they were being brought to ruin. They were starting to become nothing but shells of the things they are trying to contain.

-Alexis Blanco

 

Irish Harp as a Poetic Burden

Thomas Moore’s poem, “Dear Harp of my Country” sways between being proud of being Irish, but also nostalgic or melancholy for the situation the country is in. Thomas Moore tells in line two about the “cold chain of silence” that burdened the titular harp. In the same stanza, Moore talks about his own “Island Harp” as if to say the harp and his country are one in the same. The harp has taken on this epistemological identity of Irishness and with it, one can then relate the sound it makes to the connotation of the country of Ireland. Ironically, “the cold chain of silence” could be a clear indication of the English colonization that may have stripped the epistemology away from the Irish. This is where the nostalgia is evident because it seems to be lamenting over a time when Irishness was more solidified. To be under the thumb of England affected Ireland on a political level, but also on the level of intrahistory–that is, on a personal level, Irish people became subjected to being second class citizens in their own native home.

The Heart of the Harp

The harp represents not only the musical prowess of Irish people but also their identity as a whole. The undying perseverance and courageous spirit of Ireland can be heard from the resonating melodies of the stringed instrument. The prominence of the harp is eminently displayed to characterize and emphasize the heart of the Irish people amongst the bitter discord between the Irish and the English people. England’s imperialistic disposition met fierce resistance against the disapproval of cultural and national unity of two starkly different national identities. The battle for independence was not only tainted and defined by bloodshed but also within political-addressing literature, specifically poetry.

Sydney Owenson embodied the spirit of the Irish and invigorated a movement against oppression in The Lay of an Irish Harp. As she discusses of the agony her people faced in the daunting aggression of the Act of Union of 1801, she dismissed the benefit of solidarity from being involved with the United Kingdom. Sydney remarks of how Ireland suffers from English involvement, and that oppression caused reminisence “That bask’d in Erin’s brighter day”.

‘Tis said opression taught the lay

To him–(of all the “sons of song”

That bask’d in Erin’s brighter day

The last of inspri’d throng;

Owenson reminds readers of the fallen souls that fought against English oppression, to unite her people, and to distinguish the separation of the two cultures.

‘Twas at some patriot hero’s tomb,

Or on the drear heath where he fell.

Towards the end of her inspiring rhetoric, Owenson continues to make a call to the Irish nation, and insists on the independence of the Ireland to the rest of the world.

For still he sung the ills that flow
From dire oppression’s ruthless fang,
And deepen’d every patriot woe,
And sharpen’d every patriot pang.

The harp possesses a power beyond auditory pleasure. Sydney Owenson sentimentalized the Irish harp and disseminated the heart of the Irish people for those interested in the plight of Ireland. She rallied her fellow Irish, and voiced the anguish and perseverance of her people in her poem The Lay of an Irish Harp. Owenson expresses the value of culture, interlaced with notions of femininity at a time of prominent strife. Her rhetoric would continue on to inspire not only the Irish, but of people all around the world.

Thomas Pham

A Harp of Culture

Thomas Moore writes his poem “The Harp of my Country” is written with his patriotism fully present in a poem dedicated to his home country of Ireland. He uses the Harp as a tool throughout his work to represent Ireland as a country and as a cultural symbol. In doing this he represents Ireland’s rebellion and struggle for its loss of power after the passing of the Act of the Union.

Moore uses personification and diction of the Harp in the title and very first line where he addresses it calling it of his country giving it power and importance. He goes on to say in the next to lines of the stanza how “The cold chain of silence had hung o’er thee long,” and how he proudly unchains his “own Island Harp” (Moore, 2-3). The harp, being used for centuries in ireland in religious ceremonies very important to the irish people, holds strong roots in irish culture.  The harp is being used for its culture meaning to the Irish as it remained important and synonymous with Ireland. Thomas Moore is referring to the religious oppression faced by the Irish and culminating in the rebellion. The harp is referred to as being bound by ‘silence’ a contradiction of what a Harp is meant to do. Ireland was unable to fully represent and rule itself with the British parliament denying them right of religious representation in their government. In a country inhabited primarily by Catholics, the restrictions on Catholics in the government denied the majority of the countries people’s representation. Moore also refers to his own harp which represents the inner patriotism he posses. When awakening the harp of the country it in turn allowed the country to fully find itself and act on the silence.

The fourth stanza in the poem takes a turn from admiring the harp to a more somber tone where Moore bids the harp farewell. He says “Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers,/ This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine!” (Moore, 9-10). He’s acknowledging at this point the merger of the two countries upon the Act of Union. The harp that has been declared a symbol of the country of Ireland is playing its last song. In the coming together of the two countries the harp, or the country of ireland and its culture, is once again sealed up and silent. The people of Ireland were ready to gain their voice or music from the harp but it was quickly taken away.

 

-Noel Nevarez

The Sound of Life

As we’ve looked at the history of the harp, it has been an influence not only musically but  has also made an impact in the political world. As stated in its history “The harp was employed as a symbol of English rule in Ireland”, which makes me perceive it as an intruder. The harp ultimately was forced on the Irish by those who weren’t Irish. It is represented as a western intrusion.

There is the same concept illustrated in The Harp Of India, now it can be easy to dismiss  this as having no relation to the Irish community, yet it still resonates with it. In just the title, India is the location the poem is directed towards. India is by far very cultured centered, the foods, the spices, the oils, and so forth is under attack from a foreign nation.

“Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:”

India is described as being treated from a “neglected”, “mute”, and “desolate” harp.  The harp no longer has its sweet melodies but rather has its “mute” sound, a sound that no longer moves those who hear it. The harp is the corruption brought into the nation, where those who are near its sound will be corrupted by it.

The harp is political. It is the westernization of a nation. Just as the British did to the Irish Nation.

 

-Viviana Ojeda