1916: Books and Literature

Seventeen A Tale of Youth and Summer Time and the Baxter Family, Especially William by Booth Tarkington; illustrated by Arthur William Brown, published by Harper and Brothers, 1916, is a humorous novel about a seventeen year old boy’s first love. Mr. Tarkington’s novels were very popular in the first part of the twentieth century.

Listen to W.B. Yeats’ poem, Easter, 1916 about the Irish Uprising that occurred in Dublin, Ireland on Easter Monday of that year. The rebels proclaimed Irish independence and an Irish republic, but they were forced to surrender to superior British forces on April 29, 1916. Over 300 Irish died, and over 2000 were imprisoned by the British.

Here’s the last verse of the poem which celebrates those Irish heroes who died in the Easter Uprising:

'Thomas MacDonagh - Easter Rising 1916' photo (c) 2008, William Murphy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse –
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

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