Pearse recollected in Connolly

Sir, – In a verse I got by rote at school, the poet Pearse tells us that he is sad. And what has made him sad? Why, “The beauty of this world/This beauty that will pass”.

One can empathise with his melancholy, of course, or opt for Blake’s more optimistic contention that “He who catches a joy as it flies lives in Eternity’s sunrise”. Personally it’s the ugliness of this world that makes me sad and I find its transience rather bracing.

He goes on to describe a recurrent cardiac problem. “Sometimes”, he says, his heart hath “shaken with great joy to see a squirrel leaping in a tree”. Poets are of course notoriously susceptible to this sort of thing. Wordworth’s heart leaped up when he beheld a rainbow in (of all places) the sky. When he saw daffodils it danced.

What might have happened if he encountered a rainbow and some daffodils simultaneously doesn’t bear thinking about.


My own heart leaped up in Connolly Station the other evening when I beheld a Dart employee removing piles of those ticket receipts people never take from the rapidly clogging delivery chutes of the ticket machines to dump in a litter bin some distance away.

I ventured to suggest that moving the bin closer to the machines would save time and render his vital task less arduous.

Alas the announcement of a 20-minute delay drowned out his words of thanks, and musing on how much of the public’s money must be wasted in the manufacture and disposal of these unwanted things I went like the poet Pearse, “upon my way, sorrowful”. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.