art, Poetry

Books, Poems and Billycan Bombs

Mary Plunkett : Limited Edition Book, with the selected poetry of Joseph Mary Plunkett and George Noble Count Plunkett. Dos-a-dos layout, signed by the artist.
Mary Plunkett : Limited Edition Book, with the selected poetry of Joseph Mary Plunkett and George Noble Count Plunkett. Dos-a-dos layout, signed by the artist.

Yes, so I’m sure you’ve heard of the poet Joseph Mary Plunkett who was executed after the Easter Rising of 1916 but did you know that he had a brother called George who was also involved. And George was the grandfather of Mary Plunkett who is participating in “Republic”, a group exhibition at the Olivier Cornet Gallery. And her great grandfather was the Count Plunkett.

But speaking of the Plunketts, I have to tell you a story about the Kimmage Garrison which was billeted out in the Plunkett residence in Larkfield, Kimmage before the Rising. They were marching into Dublin on Easter Monday, under the command of George Plunkett, but it was looking like they were going to be late, so George took out his pistol, stepped out into the road and he held up the Harold’s Cross Tram. 52 volunteers clambered onto the tram with their guns, provisions and billycan bombs, and then George paid the 52 tupenny fares to the GPO.

And the Count: George Noble Count Plunkett was also a poet and some of his poems feature in the exhibition. I include one here below and then, a few more images after the poem.  And if you’re around this evening (Thursday) there’s a panel discussion in the gallery at 7pm – a National Heritage Week event, it’s free, all are welcome…

 

The Shining Woman   – by George Noble Count Plunkett

The morn the Shining Woman

was standing in my way,

she said, ‘You’ve looked for many a one,

but did you look for me?

If you’re my man you’ll suffer stripes

from high and low degree,

come make your choice, to live at ease,

or die because of me.’

 

I said, ‘O Shining Woman,

your love no man denies,

but I am to be married

to a girl that’s to my mind;

and must I leave her kindly arms,

a faithful soul desert,

because you come and call me

like a fairy from the earth?’

 

Then spoke the Shining Woman,

‘Now look at me’, she said,

and when I looked I saw the face

of the girl that I would wed:

I knew her smile, I knew her voice

that bid me be foresworn,

but to the Shining Woman

for all I would not turn.

 

I said, ‘O Shining Woman,

my mother waits at home,

I am her only staff and stay

my father being gone.

Must I give up her lonely bones,

my father’s name belie,

because a lovely stranger

would send me on the way?’

 

Then spoke the Shining Woman,

‘Now look at me’, she said,

and when I looked I saw the eyes

my mother has for me,

and in my mother’s voice she spoke,

‘Your father he was true,

and would you have him in his grave

to turn away from you?’

 

I said, ‘O Shining Woman,

you hold my heart alone,

though I may tramp the rugged hills

or stand beside your throne.

I’ll live for you, and be content

to lie below the sod,

if I can strike a blow for you

And keep my soul for God!’

 

Now, there was plenty more good work in the exhibition ( which is coming to an end on the 31st of August). I just want to show a few more gems here, but if you can, drop into the gallery yourself for a look, it’s always better to see the works in real life…

Beatrice O'Connell, 'Cherish all the children I', oil on canvas (27x34cm)
Beatrice O’Connell:  ‘Cherish all the children I’, 2016
David Fox: 'The Gates-Springfield Rd II, 2016
David Fox: ‘The Gates-Springfield Rd II’, 2016
Eve Parnell: 'A noble failure is not vain...' (from 'O'Connell Street' by Francis Ledwidge)
Eve Parnell: ‘A noble failure is not vain…’ (from ‘O’Connell Street’ by Francis Ledwidge)

http://maryplunkett.ie/

http://beatriceoconnell.weebly.com/

David Fox artist/

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

http://www.eoinmaclochlainn.com/

 

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