Spock the Vegan

Gold Star - 39,180 Points (Colorado, USA)

Irish Famine/Holocaust (Historical) - Poem by Spock the Vegan

In conquered Ireland one million starved to death.
Another one to two million emigrated (left)
Between 1845 and 1852 during the potato famine.
The causes were the potato blight and mammon.

All over Europe crops were ravaged by the blight,
But except in Ireland the effects of it were slight.
One third of the Irish were dependent on the potato,
And rent to the 'absentee landlords' they did owe.

The Irish farmers were called 'impoverished tenants'
With minimal wages as their lifelong sentence.
Historian Arthur Young wrote the Irish tenants were slaves.
Poor men could be horsewhipped by the landlord knaves.

The British Government established a Royal Commission.
Maintaining English wealth seemed to be their mission.
There existed after 1847 an absolute food sufficiency,
But of humanitarian efforts there was stark deficiency.

'Free trade' exported all the corn, wheat, oats, and barley,
Irish farmers grew to pay their rents. There was hardly
anything left for the farmer and his family to eat. Free trade
tolerated no change in this starving situation to be made.

The British Government refused to undertake assisted emigration.
The Irish viceroy proposed to rid 400,000 paupers from his nation.
The potato blight came about from lack of genetic diversity,
But the holocaust came from landlord and government perversity.

Topic(s) of this poem: slavery, war, holocaust, potato, farm, government, greed, historical, history

Form: Verse Paragraph

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Info came from a variety of internet sites. One summed it like this:
Free trade gave the Irish farmers three choices when the potato
crops failed: starve on their farms, while selling their grain crops and paying their rent; report to the Public Works or the Poor Law workhouses to be worked/starved to death as the Nazis did
to the inmates of Auschwitz; or emigrate and take a 50 percent
chance of surviving the passage across the Atlantic

Comments about Irish Famine/Holocaust (Historical) by Spock the Vegan

  • (12/3/2015 9:27:00 AM)

    The title of this poem intrigued me becuase I too have written a poem about the Irish Famine, entitled Ireland.
    This is a fine account of the event, one instance, among so many, of colonial exploitation.
    (Report) Reply

    Spock The Vegan (9/26/2016 6:59:00 PM)

    There seems to be no limit to human greed, as we are finding out in the elections.

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  • Kim Barney (12/1/2015 1:20:00 PM)

    Another educational gem. I've learned more history by reading your poems than I did in high school! (Report) Reply

    Spock The Vegan (9/26/2016 6:55:00 PM)

    Thanks. That doesn't say much for High School teachers, or maybe your memory! Anyway, we need to learn our whole life. I like writing educational poems.

Read all 4 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Monday, November 30, 2015

Poem Edited: Saturday, December 19, 2015

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