Irish History Explained in 16 Lines (or Did You Ever Wonder Why So Many of the Great Writers Are Irish?)

As anyone who’s considered being God
will know, at Pentecost the gift was not
of tongues, but ears.

Their lovely bloody language
was the weapon did us in. The sound
of it, the treasures of its lexicon,
the endless ways of telling what to do,
what god to worship, and what arse to kiss.
They pronounced death sentences; listening,
we heard troubadours. They dictated terms
of our subjection; faerysong to us.

It wasn’t us that they betrayed, but English.
They didn’t live up to it, they were not grand
enough, magnanimous, and now it’s ours.
By fierce, barbaric love—because we let
it charm us and seduce us, we own it now
in ways they never did, and never will.