Words Without Song
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"The urge to write, whether in poetry or prose derives, at least in part from vanity, but I would also suggest more serious reasons for the endeavour: explicitly to raise awareness around social injustice, environmental destruction, and human suffering. Injustice and suffering derive, in the main, from avoidable catastrophes and resource misuse, which are either planned or are allowed to continue with impunity, by and large through political intrigue. There are, of course, many other reasons as to why writers engage with the craft.

This book has been inspired by another contemporary Irish poet, Conor Farrell, who lives and works in Spain. It is also inspiring to read other poets such as Seamus Heaney, Paddy Kavanagh, Simon Armitage, Michael Hartnett and writers in prose and song, namely, Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky, George Orwell, John Prine and Bob Dylan, amongst others.

It is widely accepted now, especially amongst those who reflect earnestly on the human condition, that serious societal inequalities are widespread and that there are significant imbalances casting shadows over our lives. For instance, there are the wealthy, who haven?t enough: they are entitled. Sadly, they seem to be utterly indifferent to the plight of children dying from malnutrition, mindless conflicts and preventable diseases. It is scourges such as these that motivate me to write: social disparities ought not be permitted to exist in a civilised world.

Where I can, I like to paint pictures with words, as Hartnett does in his poem A Falling Out

?..There, on the cobbles of the market square,
where toothless penny ballads rasped the air,
there among spanners, scollops, hones, and pikes,
limp Greyhound cabbage, mending-kits for bikes,
velvet calves in creels, women?s overalls,
she shook my hand beside the market stalls???.

And as if the disregard of inequity and injustice is not enough, it is now commonplace for those in power to denigrate and abuse scientific endeavour. Those at the tiller also try to deceive us by means of the fraudulent use of language as well as through tax concessions for the wealthy. Poor governance also seems to facilitate unjustified privilege for the few enabled by corrupt manipulation of the democratic process. I believe these practices must end through education, rational persuasion, participative democracy and progressive taxation. I sincerely hope that we can succeed in turning the tide before it?s too late.

?The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.?

? Bertrand Russell"

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