; SIMMS'S CELTIC HARP
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SIMMS'S CELTIC HARP

VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 19

Beginning with the Norman occupation of Ireland in the twelfth century, and particularly with the English ascendancy, the old and muchhonored Filidh and bards of the land lost their elevated roles as revered men of learning and priestly keepers of the culture, tribal memory, and the people's story. An Irish historian of the seventeenth century, Geoffrey Keating, declared of the sad process: "There were lost beside nobility and honor, generosity and great deeds, hospitality and kindness, courtesy and noble birth, culture and activity, strength and courage, valor and steadfastness, the authority and sovereignty of the Gaels to the end of time" (348). Simms would have seen the Irish victory over her stronger foe in the "Poets' Revolution" of 1916 to be proof of the great power of inspired art and the unconquerable spirit of men who had held on to their cultural identity and love of place, family, and home - the powerful Gaelic duchas that Simms understood so well and demonstrated so clearly in both his life and work.

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