Here we have a piece of verse that looks at the roles assigned to us even from birth. Whether it be a caste system, social distinctions or income levels, many children are pigeon-holed even before they are born. Societies often have expectations of the place in society that a child will have, and this is again reinforced for them as adults.
However, the poem expresses the belief that nurture is more important than nature. Therefore, we can all escape, or try desperately to escape, the bonds that others make for us. The future is not fixed. Fatalism, the poem says, is a farce. We are responsible for making our own destiny.
Perhaps such a proactive approach to life would be one way of ensuring that inherent inequalities and resultant imbalance are broken down and destroyed.
The Tellurian Hammer of Myth
Some shadows dance, some shadows call
to empty hearts that build vile walls
to pen the stock, the fattened sheep
who bleat and turn and twist in sleep
and writhe upon the butcher’s block
or feel the sledge with sharpened clock.
Their roles assigned as their cradles rock.
What wraiths screech, what wraiths scream
as blackened formats shroud young dreams
to drip with anguish, ooze with gore
when smiling youths will smile no more
as greedy essence pools as gout
deafened to the humble shout.
Their places set when fate will out.
Will saints arise, will saints now fight
to counter fast the declining light,
with pure hearts, with kindly graces
offered softly by honest faces
as needs are met and hunger fed
and war dispelled and wraiths strewn dead.
Their posts anointed by prayers said.
Not shadows dark not shadows deep
nor hellish wraiths nor saints who weep
will tread these boards, or breathe this life
of tortured souls and scrupled strife,
for this is us, our bones and meat
that deal in love and death’s deceit.
Our futures forged in earthen heat.
Antán Ó Dála an Rí