No Country for the Young – Mary Hanrahan

Yeats swept through the Hugh Lane today,

a surprising breadth of shoulder

in black cashmere,

the vigour of a young man,

disproving the pallid countenance that ghosts on gift shop memorabilia.

He swooped past the Impressionists,

paused to peer intently at our own Roderic O’Connor,

ignored the Sean Keatings, though the Aran Islanders

must surely resonate with his Celtic vision.

One hundred years on,

does he rejoice in the prescience of his singing words

or is his heart cut to the quick

that we are still in thrall

to little men with little minds?

Scant welcome in this inn for the stranger,

new prejudice to join the old.

Our birthright sold,

our heritage in bondage,

truth fudged with lies,

here is no country for

the young, the aged,

the poet and the singer,

the healer and the hurt.

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