Brendan Behan – Red Envoy – Poem By 16-Year-Old Irish Rebel

Here’s another chance to enjoy a fine poem from a young Irish rebel later to be a renowned playwright and international brawler.

Rebel Voice

Ireland is a nation that has raised many rebels. Generation after generation have sacrificed everything to try to free their land from colonial rule. That war goes on. One of the best known Irish rebels was the writer, playwright and poet, BrendanBehan.

At 16, Behan set off for England with a suitcase of explosives to wage a campaign against his enemies. He didn’t get far and was arrested to spend time in a borstal. This period of his life prompted the writing of his book, Borstal Boy.

The following poem was also penned by Behan when he was 16. It’s an indication of how deeply he felt about social issues. Most of us, at that age, were interested in other, more light-hearted and fickle pursuits. Yet Brendan Behan was fully immersed in social and political activism, to the extent whereby he risked his life. Foolish? Misguided? Perhaps…

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