Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter, 1916 and 2009

the Jim Larkin statue and the hoisting of the Irish tricolor

the "beach"--really a large mudflat
gardens at Dublin Castle

On Sunday, I went into town for the commemoration of the Easter Rising (which actually happened on Easter Monday, not Easter Sunday...I don't know why they changed the date). After visiting Kilmainham Gaol and reading the entire body of Yeats's work this semester, it was really interesting to be a part of this occasion. People mouthed the words to the Proclamation of Independence along with the speaker, sang the national anthem, and held their children up on their shoulders to see everything better. The reactions of the people around me really made me think--living in the Dublin of 2009 is an entirely different experience from that of the older people in the crowd, for whom the idea of independence is probably still a meaningful concept. The concurrence of the Rising with the Easter holiday (which I'm sure was not an accident) mashes together those ideas of resurrection and rebirth with those of nationhood and national identity. Even the politics here are poetic!

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