Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Sack Of Baltimore.

There is a superb and very moving poem that recalls this event in some detail but also never loses sight of the fact that it was very ordinary families and people who were caught up in this extraordinary event. The poem tells the story of that terrible night  in a lyrical and moving way. My sister cleans the house of a lady in the country, a retired ex-school teacher whom she told about her brother writing a story based on the raid by slavers on the small fishing village in Cork. She remembered a junior grade book from 1917 that she owned a copy of, one that contained this quite brilliant piece of poetry detailing that very subject matter. She loaned my sister the book so that I might see it with the effect of fleshing out the events for me, bring them alive as poetry can and in this case magically did.
              The poem moves from tranquil to tragic. It mirrors that dark night so long ago I suppose. My own scribblings pale in comparison to the poetry that dripped so readily from the pen of Thomas Davis.
              Why not have yourselves a wee adventure in poetry and do the same. Try a bit of detective work and try tracking a copy down for yourself.  You have to read this work. You will find yourself transported by the power of a powerful poem crafted by a gifted word-smith. One that never loses sight of the reality of the situation, the horror that overtook the people of Baltimore, Cork, Ireland.  it is a story of a community , of families ripped from hearth and home.
              Please try and track a copy down for yourself. Before returning the copy I was leant I copied it out by hand and will always treasure it. You might well feel the same. In two weeks time we will be having a signing at the Forbidden Planet International Store in Ann Street Belfast to celebrate the release of Noe the Savage Boy#2, our comic loosely based on what history has come to call The Sack Of Baltimore. If you have had a chance to read the poem please come along and tell me what you think. I would love to hear and to relay your thoughts to that kind lady who was good enough to lend me her own time worn copy book. To let her know know that even though she is retired she is still teaching people, all these years later.
                Do please come along.
                It would not be the same without you.