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The Poets’ Rebellion: Poetry, Memory, and the Easter Rising

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Easter 1916 by W.B. Yeats

On view May 4 - June 21, 2016

On April 24, 1916, Irish poets, actors, teachers, and citizens armed themselves and took control of key locations throughout Dublin, then under British rule. This rebellion, known as the Easter Rising, set in motion a war for independence, a civil war, the partition of Ireland, and, ultimately, the creation of the Irish Free State. It also reinforced the connection between poetry, politics, and possibility still present in Ireland today.

The Poet’s Rebellion: Poetry, Memory, and the Easter Rising displays literary and cultural artifacts from the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University relating to the Easter Rising. The exhibition features a first edition of W.B. Yeats’s poem “Easter, 1916,” one of only 25 copies privately printed for his friends in the immediate aftermath of the Rising. This elegy’s closing line “a terrible beauty is born” captures the reverent yet apprehensive public mood, inextricably linking the poem to the national memory of the Rising and subsequent bloody events. Also on display are rare volumes of poetry by the executed leaders, memorabilia commemorating the rebellion, and manuscript drafts by contemporary poets responding to the legacy of the Rising.

All materials are loan from the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Sub-title: 
Curated by Sarah Harsh and Kevin Young
Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 (All day) to Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (All day)
Location: 
Admission: 
Free and open to the public during regular library hours
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