Friday 23 August 2019

Poetry: No Eyres and graces: a verse to honour Che

Major figure: Che
Major figure: Che

Ulick O'Connor

I was hoping after Ireland didn't win the Rugby World Cup that Argentina would have been the team that got it.

One of their outstanding players, Che Guevara, the leader of social revolution in South America, was a first-class rugby player. His mother was a Lynch from Galway. He was known as Lynch-Guevara.

Che Guevara first came to note after the socialist revolution in Cuba led by him. He then went back to his own country, Argentina, where he hoped to bring a similar change in the political system there.

He is regarded as one of the major figures of the 20th century in social change. Nelson Mandela described Che Guevara as "an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom".

Not, however, by a section of the Galway electorate. When it was proposed to erect a statue to him in 2012 in Eyre Square on account of his mother's people, it was turned down by the city council.

I was so infuriated at the time of this appalling rejection that I went into print with a poem which was published in my book of verse, The Kiss, in 2008.

Che Lynch Guevara

(Assassinated Bolivia, 1968)

The trouble with revolutions

Is that they usually end up

With the same solutions

As the crowd they've sent up

But you, when the job was done

And spoils for the taking,

Went off to the next one

Without waiting

Like a poet, who won't hear

An old poem played back,

You got yourself in the clear,

Cut a new track

It never made the charts

But it's going to be around

When the next one starts

And they need a new sound

Ulick O'Connor

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