A poem that speaks across the centuries

 

 

 

This poem was written by an Irish-French Catholic writer, Kathleen O’Meara (Dublin 1839 – Paris 1888), who also wrote under the pen name of Grace Ramsay. It is to be found in her novel ‘Iza’s Story’, set against the background of the Polish struggle against the occupation and partition of their country in various stages by Russia, Austria and Prussia from 1772 onwards. She compares the Polish-Russian situation to the Irish-British situation.  Does this poem speak to us now? It's also good to be reminded that the human race has faced crisis before

 

And people stayed home and read books and listened

and rested and exercised

and made art and played

and learned new ways of being

and stopped

and listened deeper

someone meditated

someone prayed

someone danced

someone met their shadow

and people began to think differently

and people healed

and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,

dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

even the earth began to heal

and when the danger ended

and people found each other

grieved for the dead people

and they made new choices

and dreamed of new visions

and created new ways of life

and healed the earth completely

just as they were healed themselves