New Shelley poem, against persecution of Irishman, discovered

This video from England says about itself:

Poetical Essay: a Shelley pamphlet through expert eyes

10 November 2015

In November 2015 the Bodleian Libraries acquired its 12 millionth printed book: a unique copy of a pamphlet entitled Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things, written by ‘a Gentleman of the University of Oxford’ and printed in 1811. The pamphlet was the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), then a student at Oxford University, and now recognised as one of the great English poets of the 19th century. The acquisition is a momentous event for the public, for scholars, the University and the Bodleian Libraries. Known to have been published by Shelley in 1811 but lost until recently, Shelley’s Poetical Essay is, thanks to the generosity of a benefactor, now freely available to all in digitized form at

From the Irish Times:

Lost Shelley poem defending jailed Irish journalist unveiled

Vanessa Redgrave reads pamphlet defending former United Irishman Peter Finnerty

Fintan O’Toole

Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 18:15

A long-lost verse pamphlet by the great Romantic poet Percy Shelley, written in defence of an imprisoned Irish journalist, was unveiled on Tuesday at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Shelley, one of the greatest English poets of the 19th century, wrote Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things in autumn and winter 1810-11 during his first year as a student at Oxford.

It protests against Britain’s involvement in the Napoleonic war and in particular supports the Irish journalist Peter Finnerty, who was accused of libel by the government and imprisoned after criticising disastrous British military operations in Denmark.

Shelley’s 10-page poem was considered lost until 2006, when a single copy was discovered in a private collection. Only now, with the acquisition of this unique copy by the library, has the text been made public. The actress Vanessa Redgrave read it aloud at an event in Oxford on Tuesday evening.

Finnerty, whose name appears prominently on the title page, is thought to have been born in Loughrea, Co Galway, and was associated with the revolutionaries of the United Irishmen. He was imprisoned in Dublin in 1798 for seditious libel after he attacked judges who sentenced other members of the society to death. He emigrated to London, where he worked as a parliamentary reporter and was a member of the circle around the Irish playwright and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

In 1809, he went to Denmark to report on British military operations. His critical reporting led to him being deported back to London. Finnerty accused the powerful secretary of state for war, Lord Castleragh, of seeking to silence him, and also of having been responsible for the torture of United Irishmen prisoners in 1798. Castlereagh sued him and Finnerty was again imprisoned.

In the newly revealed Poetical Essay, Shelley attacks Castlereagh and denounces war as a time “When legal murders swell the lists of pride;/ When glory’s views the titled idiot guide”. He praises Finnerty’s supporters and asks rhetorically: “Shall rank corruption pass unheeded by,/Shall flattery’s voice ascend the wearied sky;/And shall no patriot tear the veil away/ Which hides these vices from the face of day?”

Shelley imagines Finnerty and his supports as “a powerful hand” stripping away “the guilt-stain’d veil” of corruption.

Shelley clearly intended his poem to be part of the wider campaign to raise funds for Finnerty, which also staged large public meetings in Dublin and Belfast. Finnerty was released in 1813 and returned to work as a journalist until his death in 1822. His friend William Hazlitt wrote of him that he “loved Ireland to the last, and would overwhelm any man with a torrent of [curses] who would speak disrespectfully of the sod.”

See also here.

Jeremy Corbyn recites pro-peace poem to remember World War I

This music video from London, England says about itself:

Remembering World War One in Music and Words. St James’s Church London, 25 October 2013. Filmed by Fourman Films.

For more info on the No Glory in War campaign see here.


1 Introduction by Lindsey German, convener of Stop the War Coalition

2 The Lark Ascending, played by i Maestri conducted by John Landor. Solo violin George Hlawiczka

3 Kika Markham reads Last Post by Carol Ann Duffy and A War Film by Teresa Hooley

4 Elvis McGonigle reads Strange Meeting By Wilfred Owen and Matey by Patrick MacGill

5 Music by Sally Davies, Matthew Crampton, Abbie Coppard and Tim Coppard

6 Jeremy Corbyn MP

7 Elvis McGonaggall

8 Kate Hudson, chair of CND

9 Music by Sally Davies, Matthew Crampton, Abbie Coppard and Tim Coppard

10 Matthew Crampton reads My Dad and My Uncle were in World War One by Heathcote Williams

11 Kika and Jehane Markham

12 Billy Bragg sings: Last Night I had the Strangest Dream, My Youngest Son Came Home Today, Like Soldiers Do, The Man He Killed, Between the Wars, Where Have All the Flowers Gone

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Jeremy Corbyn to recite Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Futility’ in Remembrance Sunday memorial service

Jeremy Corbyn will be laying a wreath at the Cenotaph and will then attend the ceremony in his constituency of Islington North

Shehab Khan

Jeremy Corbyn will recite a poem about the futility of war at a memorial service on Remembrance Sunday in his constituency.

Mr Corbyn will join the other party leaders to lay a wreath bearing his own message at the Cenotaph and will then attend the ceremony in Islington North.

There, he will recite “Futility” by the First World War solider poet Wilfred Owen at memorial service in his constituency.

The poem tells of a fallen soldier and concentrates on the meaning of existence, the pointlessness of war and inevitability of death.

This is what the poem says:

Move him into the sun—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields half-sown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds,—
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved—still warm—too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth’s sleep at all?

Jeremy Corbyn accuses UK military chief of ‘breaching’ constitutional principle with Trident comments: here.

SKY NEWS bosses refused to apologise last night for referring to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as “Jihadi Jez” despite thousands of complaints: here.

‘Chilean poet Pablo Neruda murdered by Pinochet’

This video says about itself:

Pablo Neruda Documentary (Part 1 of 6)

8 July 2007

The life and work of Chilean Poet and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda is examined in this powerful and inspiring documentary film. His first two books ‘Crepusculario’ and ’20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair‘ are briefly analyzed and brough to life.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Chile admits poet Pablo Neruda may have been murdered by Pinochet coup forces

Saturday 7th November 2015

CHILE’S government has acknowledged that Nobel-prize winning poet Pablo Neruda may have been murdered after the 1973 coup by General Augusto Pinochet.

The Interior Ministry released a statement on Thursday amid press reports that Mr Neruda might not have died of cancer.

The statement acknowledged a ministry document dated March of this year, which stated that it was “clearly possible and highly probable that a third party” was responsible for Mr Neruda’s death.

A close friend of President Salvador Allende, who died in the September 11 coup, the poet had planned to go into exile.

But a day before his departure he was taken by ambulance to the Santa Maria clinic in Santiago, where he had been treated for prostate cancer. He died there on September 23, officially of natural causes.

Tests for toxins on his exhumed body in 2013 were negative, but the judge investigating has ordered new tests for other substances.

Poetry on Vlieland island

Slauerhoff Vlieland

This photo shows parts of a poem about a town hall near the town hall of Vlieland island in the Netherlands.

The poem is by well-known Dutch poet Jan Jacob Slauerhoff. Vlieland, he said, was one of few places where he felt at home.

On fourteen glass plates like on the photo there are poetry lines by Slauerhoff.

If you want to see all fourteen of them, then you have to go all the way north from the village on the Wadden Sea coast to the dunes near the North Sea beach.

After we arrived on Vlieland on 25 September, we saw two glass plates with Slauerhoff poetry on 26 September.

Slauerhoff Vlieland in forest

This photo was taken in the forest not far from the North Sea coast.

Slauerhoff Vlieland on dune

And this photo is from a sand dune summit still closer to the North Sea coast.

Slauerhoff Vlieland poems

This photo, from Vlieland village shows maybe Slauerhoff’s most famous lines, including the first line in which he writes he can only really live inside his poems.

Attila the Stockbroker poem on Jeremy Corbyn

This video from London, England says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn victory celebrations

12 September 2015

Thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters celebrate in Hyde Park the moment he is announced Labour leader, drinking champagne, hugging and chanting Jez We Did.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from England:

Devil of a time with Jeremy

Saturday 19th September 2015

On the road with Attila the Stockbrocker

LAST Saturday was, quite simply, one of the happiest days of my life. I was driving out of Harlow after an absolutely fantastic book-launch gig in the town where I had been based for much of the ’80s and done all my early gigs when I heard the leadership election result.

I found a lay-by, stopped the car and listened with joy to Jeremy’s acceptance speech, immediately deciding to rejoin the Labour Party — which I’ve now done.

And, later that day, Brighton won to go four points clear at the top of the Championship.

Pretty much perfect, I’d say.

I know there are going to be some long, hard battles ahead and they’ve already started as right-wing journalists descend on Jeremy like a slavering pack.

“Freedom of the press,” my arse — it’s the freedom of three media billionaires to employ a bunch of abjectly contemptible and brown-nosing sycophants to vomit their propaganda more like.

Which is why the Morning Star is so important. It is our voice in this unequal battle and that means that people need to be able to buy it.

It pains me to say that in the first week of my tour I have searched for copies in at least ten different shops in Harlow and Lincoln and not found one copy anywhere.

As I travel round the country I shall continue my research and report back in this column. PLEASE get the distribution better!

Five gigs on the autobiography tour this week: Mitcheldean, Wolverhampton, Walthamstow, Worcester and Stroud. All details at

And here’s my response to the brainless tabloid frenzy. Let’s take the piss out of them.

Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

Just look at us – we’re the scourge of the land
We’re Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite band
We all eat babies and we’re Commies too
And we’ve all got Aids and we’ll give it to you
With scaly tails and horns and hooves
We undermine everything that moves
You can read about us in the right-wing press
The Sun, the Mail and the Express
So don’t mess with us ’cos we’re Lefties and we smell –
We’re the Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

If your telly goes wrong or your car won’t start
You can bet your life we played our part
If your team doesn’t win or you miss the bus
Then ten to one it’s all down to us
If a dog runs off with your copy of the Sun
And brings it back with the crossword done
If your best mate becomes a Red
Or you find a squatter in your bed
We did it — and everything else as well
’Cos we’re Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

We make your pub sell proper beer
We banned the broadcast of Top Gear
We’re all pacifists, bi and gay
And members of the IRA
We love all asylum seekers
And make you pay for their posh sneakers
We won’t sing songs for the Queen
We think X Factor is obscene
So don’t mess with us, ’cos we’re Lefties and we smell
— We’re the Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

A Nobel Prize winner and a best-selling author are among the economists Jeremy Corbyn has selected to advise him. Joseph Stiglitz and Capital in the 21st Century author Thomas Piketty will develop ideas for the Labour leader and shadow chancellor John McDonnell: here.

Peterloo massacre remembered in Manchester, England

This 16 August 2015 video from Manchester, England is called Maxine Peake Reads Shelley‘s Masque of Anarchy for Peterloo Massacre Memorial.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Hundreds gather to mark 1819 Peterloo Massacre

Monday 17th August 2015

HUNDREDS of people gathered in central Manchester yesterday to mark the 196th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

On August 16 1819, 60,000 people from Manchester and its surrounding towns gathered in St Peter’s Square in the city to hear radical speakers calling for democracy.

The crowd was charged by sabre-wielding cavalry who slaughtered 15 people and injured between 400 and 700.

The outrage sparked protests across Britain, resulting in a vicious and draconian clampdown on pubic gatherings, which were outlawed.

In 2009 five friends got together to walk into Manchester to commemorate the anniversary of the event. It has been held ever since.

Sixty people were present in 2011, this year it was well over 600.

The commemoration included presentations from actors Maxine Peake and John Henshaw.

Maxine read versus from Shelley’s epic poem Masque Of Anarchy, inspired by the massacre.

It was named Peterloo after Saint Peter’s Square and the Battle of Waterloo a few years earlier.

Yesterday’s event included songs from the open-voice choir.

Banners were carried, mirroring those original demonstrations bearing words such as “equal representation or death.”

Among those taking part were two of the founders from 2009, Martin Gittens and Bob Ashworth.

Mr Ashworth said: “Martin had the idea seven years ago when five of us went to the site of the massacre. That was in 2009 and it’s grown from that. By 2019 we hope there will be tens of thousands.”