Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On a Lonely Skylark's Song

Yesterday night I continued re-reading parts of an anthology* of the writings of Bobby Sands. from which I chose the poem for yesterday's post. And, although I did not accept all I read, again I felt deeply moved.

My thoughts? My feelings?
A photo I once took on my various strives through the Bogside in Derry - also known as Londonderry :) - might be able to tell you more than I could in thousand or two thousand words.

Click to enlarge

* Skylark Sing Your Lonely Song, Mercier Press,
ISBN 0-85342-726-7


  1. '...Let these men into heaven, for they have served their time in hell.' How appropriate.

  2. i am deeply conflicted about this, but am glad all the same to read some of his poetry. so, thanks for sharing that.

    is there a differnece between the hunger strike of gandhi and that of the 1981 protest? well, of course. different circumstances for a start. different everything, except for the feeling of being oppressed, imprisoned, and wanting freedom. And where does this freedom end? When can we all say 'We are free'?

    "Only the dead are free, the chain is broken but perhaps they miss their chains?..."

    -Eva-Lisa Manner

  3. Janice,
    trying to be objective, I'd say it's both, pathetic and moving. I think it depends on the beholder.

    like you I do have very mixed feelings, the more as I know that some (short) posts cannot meet this most complex issue.

    Ah - :) - and how to cut short my answer to your question?
    1. Hungerstriking is a kind of extortion.
    2. I find it difficult to compare Gandhi to Bobby Sands et al., and if it were for that India was no H-block.
    [Sorry for the perhaps confusing sub clause; the thought came spontaneously.]
    3. Gandhi's struggle was non-violent (see 1., though), Sands and his comrades at least would accept violence.
    4. As for hungerstrikers in general: Whatever I may think about their motives and the fact per se, they do have my respect rather than so-called suicide bombers.

    The Manner-quotation reminds me of an old woman somewhere in China being asked for her opinion after the Tiananmen Square massacre: 'Democracy? I don't care. You can't eat democracy, can you?'

    Whoa, Chris, I could go on and on.
    Anyway, there will be some more posts on this very topic. And I shall be glad to learn what you think about.

  4. No matter the right or the wrong of the situation, the suffering felt on both sides was horrendous. And it went on and on, with no end in sight, for years.

    As to the use of hunger strikes, from the suffragettes to Gandhi to these, I have always found it unbearable to think about.

  5. I have always been "A plague on both your houses" when it comes to Northern Ireland. After so much pointless violence it has peace and hopefully prosperity. Sands et al achieved nothing through violence in the end.

  6. jmb, Jams,
    sorry, just forgot answering.

    Right you are, jmb. And let me add: Also horrendous was what both sides let the respectively 'other' suffer from.

    Absolutely agree with what you write, Jams - including the last sentence.