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.


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

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

“Silence is not Golden”

The poem “The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls” written by Thomas Moore evokes emotional appeal as it personifies the harp -giving it human attributes- specifically that of Ireland’s.

Referring to the Ireland’s nationalism, Moore, on the third line of the first stanza, says:

“Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls.”

The use of the word mute, technically meaning silent, is making reference to Ireland’s inability to express cultural pride any longer.  During a time when the Irish people were under oppression by British society, it makes sense that their culture evolution would be in a state of non-progression, “as if that soul were fled” (first stanza, line 4).

Moore, so far, in the poem, has extended the Irish history, setting the tone of grief and loss.

According to: “Harp Spectrum’s: Exploring the World -’Ireland’s Harp: A Story of Survival and the Shaping of Irish Identity,’” the history behind the harp is a “story of a fight to survive…”

That fight is in regards to the Irish crucially attempting to hold on to their identities as they were forced to assimilate into the British government.  

First stanza, lines 5 and 6, “So sleeps the pride of former days/so glory’s thrill is o’er” truly indicates the depression the Irish were feeling. While the poem is using sleep as a metaphor to indicate that there is no longer any pride, and “glory,” it could also be taken literally as sleep is a common reaction to feeling sad, or with lack of hope.  

Moore, moves through the poem, as if moving through the body of the Irish, mentioning the word “heart,” stating that there is “pulse no more”(first stanza, line 8) and “the only throb she gives/is when some heart indignant breaks/to show that she still lives”(second stanza, lines 6-8).  This heart that Moore speaks of is the Heart of the Irish, alluding to the notion that, despite their state of oppression, and that their pride may have been in a state of slumber, there is still hope that lies within the beat of their harp.

-Maricela (Marcy) Martinez

Hopeful Harps

The association of the harp with Irish history bares the mark of a strong identity. The harp was once used to mark social status, or rather a high social rank, and was the tool used in comparing the pain Ireland faced from being colonized. The harp creates an easy comparison to the darkness the Irish faced and the beauty that came from making such sweet music. In Henry Derozio’s poem, “The Harp of India”, the harp’s importance is used to portray how England’s colonization drastically affects the way the harp was used.

For example the lines,  “Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain; / Thy music once was sweet — who hears it now?” can be used to link Ireland’s inability to have belonging in England’s colonies. Times prior to being colonized, life was This is further supported with the lines, “Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain; / Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,”. These lines mimic the Harp of Erin painting we looked at in discussion. A painting of a woman who cannot speak, and even if she could, she is chained to a place where no one could hear her.

However, what I do find interesting is the last lines tone of hope, “but if thy notes divine May be by mortal wakened once again, / Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!” The narrator creates this notion that the harp’s presence, regardless of the problems outside of the instrument, is enough to create hope in one person.

  • Elizabeth Dominguez

Harping in India


The significance of the harp contains a duality within itself. On one hand, it is a symbol of aristocracy and Refined taste. However, in writing about it as something that acts as a savior from barbaric costumes or a molder of status, the poem becomes a harp, a verb meaning that this is a long rant to defeat the ignorant understanding of their nations people. In Henry Derozio`s poem, “The Harp of India” he highlights the turmoil of a colonized nation without a voice. Like Ireland, “after the conquest of the country by the Normans, identified the skill of the Irish harpers as the sole redeeming characteristic of an otherwise barbaric race.” This poem gives a voice to India, as the poem reverses the harps meaning of creating a higher class individual from a barbarous culture, to showing how their beautiful culture had been destroyed. In this viewpoint, Derozio is sharing the view of the colonized public. He is expressing how they have been wronged by people who thought that taking over their land would make things better.

The poem seems to personify England colonization of a fatal mistress of some kind. In the line “Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain” silence is portrayed as the aforementioned sinister entity, however, it is clear that this silenced is caused by the imperialist tendencies of England. India is bound by this colonization and they have no choice but to adapt to their conquerors language. Thus, the song of the harp is silenced by the boundaries set by the English. The poem serves as a harp to bear the speakers grievances with the overtaking of their land but also an ode to the beauty that once occupied the region when the speaker says “Once thy harmonious chords to sweetness gave.” Considering the political cartoons that we have examined in the past, many people pictured unconquered and exotic lands pure and beautiful, although still considering its residents barbaric. However, colonialist viewed the land as a vessel of untapped potential, where they can help through technological advancement. Of course pollution, war and politics was the result of this, leaving the residents poor, sick and miserable. The land is from then on, marked as one with the delusion of liberty in a desolate land. The real freedom, in fact comes from the joy that was once there, existing in the natural beauty of the land and its people.

Therefore, overall the poem spears to be a way for the author to let the public know that the harp, as a symbol of aristocracy or high class, is not representative of the colonized nation. It is not the colonizers that allow the nations beauty to shine through and, in a sense, polish the harps bow. It is in fact, the pure and untainted beauty of the land and its people that deserves to be represented by the harp. It is the natural radiance of the land that allows the song to flow joyously. It is only when the land is taken over and turned into an industrial waste land where the native people are chained to this belief that this English standard of beauty and correctness, which is what the harp seems to represent for the colonist, is when the strings are plucked from the bow and the music ceases.

-Kamani Morrow

The Harp of India

In “The Harp of India”, Henry Derozio uses the cultural history of the harp to convey how England has conquered India. However, I find it interesting that he chooses to use the symbol of the harp which is considered to be Irish, rather than using a well known Indian instrument. It seems that Derozio knows how to speak to his audience in a manner that allows others to sympathize and understand what they [India] are going through. Here, Derozio is targeting Ireland and is attempting to gain the solidarity of other nations going through the same thing by writing in English that has permeated other nations as well. For instance, with British imperialism, there is also the imperialism of language. In India the English language was being taught as a prestigious language. Even Derozio himself taught English. So who is to say that the same wouldn’t happen to Ireland.

In his poem, Derozio makes his poem vague enough that others who are suffering from British conquest can sympathize and read this as if it was meant for them. He is garnering sympathy from others, specifically Ireland, just by using the image of the harp in his poem. We can see vagueness of Derozio’s poem that is applicable to others in the last line where the speaker says, “Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!” (Derozio). Here, Derozio does not say, “Harp of India”, he specifically uses “my country”, which gives the reader the opportunity to think about their own country. But, by naming it “Harp of India”, Derozio reminds the reader that India too is a victim of British imperialism. India alone can’t overcome British imperialism, but maybe Ireland and India can?

Furthermore, if we take the title away, I feel that we could have easily concluded that this poem was written by an Irish writer, phrases such as ” thy music once was sweet-who hears it now?” seems to be applicable to the Irish. As we discusses in class, the harp was considered to be a prestigious instrument and after unification, many harpist were left without patrons and thus had to look for new ones.

-Nancy Sanchez

the Harp as a symbol of Irish Nationalism

Ireland was consumed by the Britain’s imperialistic conquests of the 17th and 18th century. Since it was maliciously added Irland has been constant resistance to British rule. This opposition and rejection of british involvement in Ireland is seen in Irish Literature. One of the biggest symbols of this opposition was the symbolic meaning of the Harp. The poem Dear Harp of My Country By Thomas Moore is a great example of the Harp used as a symbol of Irish disdain for British Rule. Moore’s use of this symbol is portrayed when he says “DEAR Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee” Moore uses the Harp to represent Irish Nationalism in a time when Britain seemed to silence and suppress Irish cultural. The uses of the term “darkness” further illustrate how Ireland sees British rule as negative to Irish nationalism. Even in the modern day this opposition to british control is still seen. Because of this literature, it caused the birth of the IRA in the 20th century. This Irish republican paramilitary organization sought to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and to bring about an independent republic encompassing all of Ireland. Ireland still remains today hostile to British rule, and most like will remain until it becomes a sovereign nation.

  • Conor Morgan

Solidarity within the Harp

Henry Derozio’s “Harp of India” signals an acknowledgement of Ireland’s rich cultural history of the harp; all the while showing solidarity with Ireland in the oppressive times of British colonization. Through a harp, Ireland symbolizes its cultural development and heritage. In India, the harp isn’t as widely spread and thus becomes more of a metaphor in that, just as it operates for Ireland, so too, does it convey the same sense of culture and belonging in a symbolic sense. This structured identity is complicated through Derozio’s poem, becoming a sonnet about the conflicting cultures of the self and how they translate to identity.

It’s important to note that Derozio was born in Calcutta, India and thus, grew up in a segregated town between rich and poor, white and colored, man and woman. We can see he addresses some the cultural hybridity in the line:

“O! many a hand more worthy far than mine”

The narrator’s self-doubt is highlighted here, even though they too, are a part of India through the last line “Harp of my country.” The fact that they think themselves unworthy echoes the loss of identity through the subjugation of India. We see this most explicitly through the harp’s description:

“Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain;

Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,

Like ruined monument on desert plain:”

Here, the harp doubles as the symbol of India as the chains of colonization while also being a metaphor of the narrator’s identity. It too, was muted and subjugated through the globalization of the English language. We see this through the poem’s Shakespearean form of a sonnet and use of English. Both coming from British culture, Derozio uses this to appeal to a wider audience; specifically, a British audience. In doing so, it speaks to the cultural hybridity of Indian people that have to grapple with conflicting sources of cultural, all the while making a space for themselves to be heard.

-Daniel Corral

The Harp functions to glorify a whole Country

Thomas Moore’s poem “Dear Harp of My Country” reflects Ireland’s appropriation of the harp into their culture during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  It was evident during that era, that the harp was an appreciated instrument in Gaelic society due to the strenuous difficulty to play and to learn how to play the harp at such a young age.  Moor epitomizes the hard in an anthrompormorphic light.  He even functions to personify it as a personal friend when he uses the word “dear” to describe the harp, and its significance in Ireland.  He has a patriarchal attachment to the harp in the first four stanzas:
“Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee,
The cold chain of silence had hung o’er thee long,
When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee
And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song!
The words “proudly” “my own” and of course “dear” are indicative of his personal bondage to the instrument so much so that he makes use iof rhetorical de ices ethos and pathos so that his Irish audience can relate to the same feelings he has for the harp as much as they do.  When he states the harp contains “a gold chain of silence” this is practical to bring a dramatic irony to the harp’s representation.  He pities a person who has no conceived the sound of the “silent gold chain” which when played sends pleasant vibrations to the audience and counteracts any silence at all.  He poses nationalist themes when he claims the songs evoke “light” and “freedom”  At the time English had attempted to colonize Ireland, so his standpoint on the importance of freedom becomes relevant to audiences that they will not allow England to take their homeland or the accomplishments of their culture, like the harp, in this sense.  He is especially nationalistic when he remind the audience that when his “Dear Harp” ceases its playing it will “sleep with the sunshine of fame in its slumbers.”  He glorifies the instrument to the extent that the harp is not only personified, but sleeps in a famous chamber for its privilege as Ireland’s own instrument.  The fact that this country has such a grandeur instrument establishes their nationalistic identity and allows foreign audiences to be aware of their cultural impact, intellect, and relevance for their musical capabilities.-Jessica Mijares