Erasure poem by Moloney King based on a speech by Irish revolutionary, Thomas Francis Meagher, 1846.

Published in Beir Bua Journal this is a form of performance poetics using blackout / erasure on a speech by Irish revolutionary, Thomas Francis Meagher, using the 2021 poet (and rumoured to be a descendent of said rebel) Michelle Moloney King’s smart board in primary school. don’t worry this was performed during lunch break.

To the left of the screen is the poet using a smart board marker to blackout words, middle screen is poet’s name and a (black and white – oil and ink on waterproof paper) visual poem by the poet, to the right of the screen is the finished erasure poem.

This poem works as an art work and wishes to flip the orgional intention of the speech. from begging to stating, from fawning to demanding. Meagher was a mighty speech giver and wished to gain peace with the UK using peaceful means, he wanted to show how Ireland is the land of saints and scholars and deserved to be treated better.

Alas, his attempts were in vain and he eventually took up arms and led men into war. it took Ireland nearly a hundred years after this speech (and 800 years of colonisation) to gain independence from British rule only to be a fallen country with generations of colonised shame and became to prey to the church and victims of kidnap (Mother and Baby homes), sexual abuse, corruption, utter control and fear.

In the 80s we stared to slowly stand up and say no, maybe the introduction of television into our homes and scenes of a “free” America gave us notions of dreams and self-esteem and eventually the churches power over its people was lost and new relationships formed. Although, we will never forget the Mother and Baby homes and still await an acknowledgement, apology and renumeration.

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