Monday, October 17, 2016

Joseph Mary Plunkett

Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887—1916) is an Irish nationalist, poet and journalist. He was born to an affluent family, but one with republican views. He contracted tuberculosis at an early age, which affected his health right into adulthood.

He was one of the organizers of the Easter Uprising of 1916, and a signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. His plans were the ones primarily followed in the rebellion. Although the British government was focused on the war, they sent sufficient troops to quickly quell the uprising. On the morning of the day he was executed he married his fiancee, Grace Gifford, in the prison chapel.

For a short time he was the editor of the literary journal, The Irish Review, and was a co-founder of The Irish Theatre. His first poetry collection, The Circle and the Sword, appeared in 1911, and his second, The Poems of Joseph Mary Plunkett, appeared posthumously.

I see his blood upon the rose

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.