A new twist on an old poem

Now I know there’s been a lot of hullabaloo about people re-writing the Irish Proclamation—rightfully, in my opinion—so I’m aware that I could be messing around in holy ground with this one. Still, I was immensely impressed with this new take on Joseph Mary Plunkett’s “I See His Blood Upon the Rose“.  Since it is still National Poetry Month here in the United States and I posted the original over on the Facebook page during Easter Week, I thought I’d share this new one here.

Full disclosure – I know the author and he is Anam Chara to me….which means I have a clear bias in his favor.  Anthony Roberts is a brilliant writer and is currently getting his Masters Degree in Poetry. One of his assignments was an Erasure Poem – where you take an existing piece of work and erase words to make it entirely new. Since he has a healthy obsession with the poets of 1916 and his favorite is Plunkett, he knew what he would do for the assignment. He has transformed a deeply religious poem into an homage to the poet himself and I loved it. I hope you do too.

First the original…

I See His Blood Upon the Rose

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars, the glory of his eyes
His body gleams amid eternal snows
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

-Joseph Mary Plunkett

And now the Erasure Poem

I see his blood
glory
gleams eternal
from the skies.

I see his face in
The thunder
his voice and his power
are his written words.

his feet are worn,
His heart ever-beating,
His crown
is every tree.

Anthony Roberts

I thought it was a pretty neat exercise… and nowhere near as offensive as the idea of a new Proclamation. I hope you enjoy it as well.

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