Archive for February 21st, 2008

Compare and Contrast

Poems by Cathal O Searcaigh may be taken off the Leaving Cert curriculum as the fallout from the controversial documentary on the poet continues.Education Minister Mary Hanafin said yesterday that there were “difficulties” with the inclusion of his poems on the exam curriculum.

I have never read a poem by Cathal O Searcaigh. His poems may be brilliant, or they may be dreadful. I simply don’t know. But no activity on his part, lawful or otherwise, can alter the text of the poems he has already published. And if they were deemed worth studying prior to the release of the documentary Fairytale in Kathmandu, then they are still worth studying today. To adopt a stance of ‘since the author doesn’t meet our national moral criteria we can’t allow our children to study his poems’ is to return to the days of Committees on Evil Literature.

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