Collected Poems. With Holograph Poem (1920)
Author: A.E. [George Russell]
Book ID: 66622
Collected Poems. London: Macmillan, 1920. Reprinted with Additions. Pp xvi, 303. Blue cloth boards, title lettered in gilt to upper cover & spine. Dust jacket present with spine hinges repaired.
The poem ‘Brixton Prison’ written out and signed by AE on front free endpaper. Later published as “A Prisoner. Brixton, September 1920” in his collection ‘Voices of the Stones’ (1925).
Written in 1920 as Terence MacSwiney, lord mayor of Cork, died slowly on hunger strike in Brixton Prison (London), the poem was published in ‘The Times’ newspaper in September of that year. MacSwiney read the sonnet in his cell before he died on 25th October, the poem ends with the line ‘Farewell, Lightbringer, fly to thy fountain again.’
Terence MacSwiney’s long and highly publicised hunger strike lasting 74 days drew world attention to the independence struggle going on in Ireland at the time & greatly influenced Indian nationalists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. A noted poet and playwright, he helped to set up the Celtic Literary Society in Cork in 1901 and seven years later co-founded the Cork Dramatic Society with Daniel Corkery; they hoped that the society would become Cork’s version of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
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