Metrical Fragments of the Irish Poet: Using Deviantart to add Owenson into The Irish Harp

Samantha Shapiro

Link: https://www.deviantart.com/wild-irish-fan/art/Metrical-Fragments-of-the-Irish-Poet-796873172

Metrical Fragments of the Irish Poet by wild-irish-fan

https://www.deviantart.com/wild-irish-fan/art/Poem-resized-796876053

References: https://pastebin.com/2DbQa5c0

https://archive.org/details/layofirishharpor00morg_0/page/n21


Artist’s Reflection (Review)

In my creative writing project, I wanted to use the modern practice of creating “original characters” or “OCs” (a Deviantart definition, very fitting) to fit Owenson into her poem, “The Irish Harp” and show a little bit of what I see constituting Owenson’s goal of inspiring the Irish and inciting passionate emotions while trying to give the Irish people a voice. This ended up being through reusing her poem and changing it to fit a more “Owenson-centric” focus and focusing on visual imagery to help provide more information in an easily accessible format.

I personally wanted to choose a multimedia physical piece to imitate a Deviantart uploader and/or user to convey a different take on Sydney Owenson’s poem, “The Irish Harp.” The use of Deviantart as a medium, in way, and creating an OC through it helped me to convey a more loose reinvention of Sydney Owenson’s poem by allowing me to establish different characters to help symbolize different elements of her readers are unable to see within her own poem – while the poem depicts a minstrel and his harp, Owenson herself, in my imitation, is placed within the central focus of a modern approach because as an “OC” of her work, she conveys themes of rebellion she chooses not to mention herself – with her playing a “faux Irish harp” in “parties of the English nobility,” among many other seemingly small societal choices.

The choice to use a mixed art format overpowers the minimal usage of “imitation” in the written poem (rewording, changing key words, and condensing) but instead stretching it to belong within other art pieces. I did this because I felt as though both a short poem and larger focus on different sketches and art styles would be more visually appealing to a modern audience, especially one on Deviantart. Also, some general familiarity in basic pen and pencil doodles helped; comics were inserted as filler for the background but have generally influenced by art style. The general form of my work is as a part within a whole, similar to how Owenson published her work into a collection of “Metrical Fragments,” but differs through the length of the poem and choice to use images to convey further meaning, making Owenson a part of her own literary world (figuratively) as she did herself by taking on the act of Glorvina, a character she created herself. Content-wise, my priority was to include Owenson into her own work to help share her voice as she does with the Irish facing oppression from the British in the 1800s, and add her own rebellious voice to reinforce her stance by making her another character within her poem. Although imitation is seen through the rewording of her poem, I chose to draw her as a harpist with a harp in order to show not only how a modern reader could further her work but also expand the choice in medium to better suit a more art-centric and passionate community.


I was also inspired by this video and her playing and posture!

 

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The Rime of the Stubborn Procrastinator

It is a stubborn procrastinator

Of course, he is up late

Beard overgrown, hair a mess he looks up

Why does he stay up so late, why take the bait.

 

The classroom’ doors are spread wide open

My test is to be turned in

A line forms to turn in papers

The stubborn procrastinator walks in, his paper next of kin.

 

In his crusty, bloodshot eye he holds…

The rest of the class go about their day

No one notices, no one cares of the message he beholds

But you, you take a look into those eyes that have turned glazed

 

The student was excited, glee filled his eyes

One chapter ended and a new one was about to begin

School hasn’t  been a breeze for him, not so easy

Being brought up with good morals, patience and discipline.

 

Sacrifice and determination got him here from high school to university

He was no strangers to late nights, even then

A heavy curse inflicted on him, where all his work is done last second

And now the curse is back, it is here again.

 

The constant view into his eyes, piercing like mirrors

All of a sudden, you become him

And you remember all of the past events that led you there.

Clear as day, even at night, the picture is not so dim.

 

And now the RESEARCH – PAPER  came, and he

Was weak-willed he knew it was going to take a night long.

He was struck no desire to write anytime before the night before

And waited for the day to come along, how wrong.

 

The stubbornness was here, the stubbornness was there,

The stubbornness was all around:

It cracked and hissed, and growled and kissed

Like roots growing in the ground

 

With stubbornness breeds ignorance, and impotence

There is time for the gym, time for a few youtube videos

Even time for some video games, and Netflix

Look upon this throne of disruptions he bestows.

 

At length did cross a DISTRACTION for our little student

Through the nothingness it came out, reaching out towards them

As if it had been a hand trying to grab our little student

We cursed it, yet became enthralled by it’s over looming presence.

 

Our direction became misguided, our attention diverted from the research paper

Now it was going towards the DISTRACTION and we were falling headfirst

In our heads we knew that we would write the paper, just not now

First comes the distraction, then the paper, but now quench this thirst.

 

I was having fun, completely ignoring my paper.

It was always on my mind, leeching onto the back of my brain

I knew I had to stop soon, opportunities like this would be seldom

Sweat wiped my eyes, like rain

 

‘God save me, STUBBORN PROCRASTINATOR!

From the disruptions that plague universities

Why thou look anywhere else but myself?

I shot the DISTRACTION

 

I looked upon the ticking time

And my eyes darted from side to side

I looked upon my research paper

With nothing done I knew I was in for a ride

 

Yet I finished of course, on time.

I wear this curse on my neck

Its me in my prime

I need to look at myself, give myself a good check

Reflection: Like many others I assume, I wanted to modernize Wordsworth’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. I settled for my version to captivate not only a modern audience, but an immediate audience. This is a poem that many students, including myself can relate to. It has to deal with the typical university student who procrastinates their assignments last second.

I gave the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator’ a persona, I gave it a picture people can see. While many may not immediately want to be compared to someone as ugly as that, they will later see that they aren’t that different. I feel that if I gave the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator’ it gave the poem a sense of immediacy, and made it almost more intimate, There is a character we can connect the poem right from the beginning. There is another unspoken character who observes the procrastinator in the classroom, and not much is given about this character, because it’s supposed to be in the perspective of the reader. Just like the reader, this unspoken character looks at the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator’s” eyes and then observes their perspective. The whole point was to blur the lines between whose perspectives we were switching from and to. Both the unspoken person, and the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator” are supposed to be the same person. With, hopefully, the reader finding themselves part of it too. The poem was to highlight just the number of students who are indeed procrastinators themselves, and meant to highlight their struggles in the university setting. In a parody attempt there are stanzas that are very similar to Wordsworth’s own lines, in order to see the connection in both poems. This poem is a parody, the Albatross instead of leading towards clearer waters, instead leads our reader towards more distractions. And while death isn’t present, we know from Wordsworth Version that it is coming, and while it’s not here, time is the lurking danger. We know it’s bound to come, and it will always affect our protagonist in their journey to finish at the last second.

  • Robert Morales

Harp of India

I found that Henry Derozio, “The Harp of India” was a very interesting take on the idea of the Harp and what its symbolism. The other two poems are written about the Harp in an Irish context, but Derozio’s is written in the context of the Harp being significant in India. The first part of the poem starts off in a very sad and melancholy tone basically talking about how the speaker laments that the Harp is no longer being played and how there is no one to hear it’s beautiful and “sweet music.” That even the wind cannot make it play, therefore it just sits there neglected and unused. However, the second part of the poem starts to become a bit more optimistic and ultimately ends in a positive and hopeful light. The speaker shifts from speaking about the actual Harp to those who play it and includes some contextual information regarding the history of the Harp. The speaker emphasizes how beautiful and worthy the songs the previous “poets” played on the Harp and how the speaker is not worthy of comparing. As well as how those songs are so important that they have become famous and will live on forever. The speaker ultimately ends with despite the poets being dead, their songs will continue to live on, and he will aspire to keep them alive and restore glory to his India.

This poem touches briefly on the history of the harp as well as the history of India and one interpretation of this poem can be that the harp symbolizes India and how it lays forgotten due to the colonization of India by Britain. And how it now lays forgotten because no one will remember it, but despite all of that, the poets who have written about India have kept it alive and kept it remembered and therefore is willing to keep “playing the harp” to keep the memory and importance of India alive and known, ultimately bringing the glory of India back.

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

Forgotten Strings: A Close Reading of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio’s “The Harp of India”

Bolero

(This is more a lyre than a harp though…)

From its inception as “the epitome of Gaelic aristocratic culture” to its eventual inseparable ties to Irish culture as a “quintessential musical, visual, and metaphoric representation of Ireland and the Irish people,” the harp only flourished as much as it did “due to the ingenuity and versatility of Irish harpers to adapt constantly to social and cultural changes” (Harp Spectrum). Without its dedicated following, the harp fell into obscurity and struggled to persist in the musical realm. In his poem “The Harp of India,” Henry Derozio conveys the stringed instrument’s difficult task to remain relevant thought history.

The beginning of the poem sets up the harp’s drab and dilapidated status as a forgotten artifact as it “hang’st…lonely on yon withered bough…unstrung for ever, must thou there remain.” Being an older instrument, there no longer remains anyone willing to pick up and play it as it is seemingly now used as a dusted decoration on a damaged wall. With its main instrumentalists no longer around the modern world, it remains “neglected, mute, and desolate,” utterly stripped of its sole purpose to produce sound despite its past prevalence as a nationalistic icon for the Irish.

Yet not all hope is gone for a chance of the instruments revival, as the speaker acknowledges “thy harmonious chords to sweetness gave, And many a wreath for them did Fame entwine,” alluding to the harp’s incredible potential to produce unrivaled “sweet” music and cementing its place in the musical realm. Ultimately the speaker believes, just as the harp’s devoted followers before, “if thy notes divine may be by mortal wakened once again” as the “harp of my country,” indicating the harp’s influential power to expand outside the mere realm of music as a national symbol once more as it was for the Irish. While its strings produce moving melodies, Derozio’s poem shows the harp’s importance as not only an instrument that has brings the musical community together, but an inspiring symbol that binds entire nations together with its crucial cultural significance.

You earn a spot in history harp.

–Jose Ramirez

Source: (Harp Spectrum Site: https://www.harpspectrum.org/historical/Irelands%20Harp%20A%20Story%20of%20Survival%20and%20the%20Shaping%20of%20Irish%20Identity.shtml )

 

 

 

 

This Poem Makes Sense if you go to UC Merced during the Latter Half of Spring

UC Merced, 2019

By Joseph Rojas

 

I meander at first, then pick up speed

Along the imaginary arrow.

On this journey I walk to take the lead;

I pass others on pathways too narrow.

United as one with our heads that burn,

Out in the open—victim to the flame.

Some may complain at every step or turn,

Others mute, with only themselves to blame.

We claim our brilliance, but yet we toil;

Constantly searching for a better way.

But until then, our heads and blood shall boil

Unless we should lose our courage to stay.

The proxy elite preach the worth of work,

But until this walk fades, our rage will lurk.

 

P.S.

I Like Sonnets.

P.P.S

It did not say toin the directions to mention this, but I read William Blake’s London and this poem was inspired by that. At least I don’t think it did. I didn’t read the directions that well.

Merced 2019

I wrote my poem in the style of William Blake’s “London”.

I scroll through the headlines each morning

And my chest constricts with empathy

We should all heed the warning

The world is turning to one of apathy

 

Mothers holding their dead children

Countries going weak without water

There are more lives than 327 million

But most only care about a millionaire’s daughter

 

Conversations overheard hold no weight

Destruction and devastation happen everyday

Many it seems, have turned a blind eye to their fate

Soon, the repercussions will be at our doorway

 

The country is built on bureaucracy and hypocrisy

We hear the discontent; yet seem powerless

We have been reduced to Kakistocracy

People cry, people die, the world is not colorless

Sabrina Vazquez

San Fernando 2019

Lended through a municipality’s streets

Parallel to impoverished groans

Sun dried faces burnt and disheveled lead treats

Worn complexions, aching bones

In every hand a dried cement

In every house an apathy erect

In every voice; every individual lament

An entombment of unreleasable debt

Lessened patrons pry

As collapsing residences imply

And unfeasible mortgages rend dry

Flows downturned to an ashy sky

But a forsaken railway astray

A pittance of commerce

How graffiti would incur everything stray

And trapped in an economic hearse

-Kevin Martinez

Los Angeles (Any City) 2019

A tribute to William Wordsworth’s “London 1802”:

Women! You shouldn’t be out at this hour:

The World is too dark and dangerous: and he is out

Causing misery and pain: “it’s your fault”,

They’ll say, no questions asked whatsoever,

You have forfeited your personal rights

Of inward happiness. They are selfish men;

Oh! “She was asking for it,” “did you see what

She was wearing?”; it all comes with a price.

First teach them manners, virtue, courage,

And then, power.

Thy soul was like a bright Star, now broken and burnt out:

Thou haven’t a voice to make noise or speak up:

No longer pure as the naked heavens, or majestic,

It was never even free.

So this is the way we must live our lives,

In in uncheerful frighten godliness; and yet their hearts

Sleep and live in peace, no regrets.

 

-Laura Mateo Gallegos

Merced in 2019

An isolated patch of land surrounded by manmade lakes
new bones and flesh made of glass sprout on the fields as the earth quakes
morphing into school for students of the twenty first century
fledgling and new, it hardly plants itself in California’s memory
Unlike the locals who rioted
whose cries for pause were quieted
as more and more students poured in droves
and businesses that had existed before were long since closed

But all of this growth came at a cost
and the city’s newfound tenants do not know what the locals had lost
an air force base
when disbanded left families stranded
a golf course
a stand against classist recreation

it grows and grows
(somewhere in the distance plays a cheesy song about a seed)
as new feet trample and ride their cars through its meadows

Los Angeles, 2019.

Inspired by William Blake’s London.

He walked along the boulevard, eyes glued to his phone as he watched the world crumble beneath him
An elder man mourned the day people weren’t glued on their phones
forgetting that he too relied on them

At each passing step, the world continues to crumble
News filled with horrors and neverending stresses
They mourn the destruction of a church but turn their heads at the bombing of others
Kids out on the streets protesting for what’s right
Eat the rich! Save the earth! They chant

Mothers across the globe cry out as their children are torn from them
People scream pro life and turn their heads from those starving on the streets
The climate is changing, the president a fool

But when he looks up from his phone he’s met with the stresses of daily life
Rent, school, family issues, cloud his mind
but he continues walking.

– Lou Flores