Kinsella’s Overisght by Tommy Dwyer is a riposte to ‘Butcher’s Dozen’, a poem written by the Eire establishment poet Thomas Kinsella. It commemorated the thirteen people killed by the Para at a pur4ely peaceful demonstration in January 1972, organized by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in Derry City, against the continuation of internment without trial. As the introduction says, “If the poem also commemorated the innocent Protestant dead, and worked up emotions against the political process which killed them, it would be as useful a contribution to the cause of progress as a bourgeois poet could make in this day and age.” Kinsella abuses the Ulster Protestant as Britains … ‘rubbish … slaps and scraps …,’ and works up purely Nationalist hatred for the ‘Brits’ and especially the Ulster Protestant community. Despite this Kinsella says “They, even they, with other nations have a place”.
This appears to be a tacit acceptance of the view that there are two historical communities, nations, if you prefer, on the island of Ireland, which rather damages Kinsella’s own thesis that the people being abused belong to an alleged historical Irish nation.
The booklet itself is decorated, if that is the word, with photographs of the IRA’s ‘Bloody Friday’ anti (civilian) personnel atrocities of 1972. there are one or two misprints, and on one page there are two footnotes inversed, but generally, it is a very good job.
To the poem itself, Kinsella’s Overisght by Tommy Dwyer, it suffers from a number of problems, it is a ferociously serious parody, but as Tommy Dwyer wants to transcend hate-mongering the parody is restricting. It is also emphatically not emotion recollected in tranquility, and it shows. But at the beginning of the poem the spirit of a baby girl killed in a no-warning bombing of a furniture shop aks of the bombers:p
“In days of old, in times gone by,
Could they see with Future’s eye?
Did my death make the Wild Geese fly?”
This sort of thing is a superb antidote to the romanticized garbage written about the past war.
Tommy Dwyer makes his living working as a bricklayer, a former member of the Republican movement, he used to teach Gaelic in an Cumann Cluin Ard.
- ASIN : B001PDEITK
- Publisher : Athol Books (1 Jan. 1987)
- Unknown Binding : 12 pages