August 16, 2003 by AK

Sometimes, to some people, it makes more sense to die than to keep living. There is suicide; there is voluntary martyrdom; there is self-sacrifice. And there is killing. Many times, the four have combined in one act, but the proportions of each have varied greatly. These days, we see suicide carnages; in days past, we saw tyrannicides.

Sometimes, a manipulative leader encourages despairing youths to kill and die gloriously; sometimes, a man of study and reflection concludes a hopeless act of defiance must crown his career. To water

The Rose Tree

“O words are lightly spoken,”

Said Pearse to Connolly,

“Maybe a breath of politic words

Has withered our Rose Tree;

Or maybe but a wind that blows

Across the bitter sea.”

“It needs to be but watered,”

James Connolly replied,

“To make the green come out again

And spread on every side,

And shake the blossom from the bud

To be the garden’s pride.”

“But where can we draw water,”

Said Pearse to Connolly,

“When all the wells are parched away?

O plain as plain can be

There’s nothing but our own red blood

Can make a right Rose Tree.”

(W.B. Yeats, 1921)


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