History: Famine Poetry...
FAMINE (excerpt) - By Peter Quinn
The fungus arrived in Ireland in the late summer of 1845
Pest, parasite, potato destroyer, invisible and invincible
It struck across Europe, the same sudden, unstoppable invasion
Infection, corruption, devastation.
But Ireland was a special case,
Ireland was a place where, for millions of people, the potato was neither
Staple nor suppliment,
WHITE POTATOES - Traditional - Translated from the Irish
A thousand farewells to the white potatoes
For as long as we had them, a pleasant hoard
Affable, innocent, coming into our company
As they laughed with us at the head of the board.
They were help to the nurse, to the man and the child,
To the weak and the strong, to the young and the old
But cause of my sorrow, my grief, my affliction
Them rolling away, without frost, without cold.
What will buy a shroud for those to be buried?
Tobacco, pipes or a coffin of wood?
If we are to die now may the High-King protect us
And, of course, it would be a release if we could.