Kilmainham Gaol
In the photograph you see a simple wooden cross, set in a corner of the execution yard of Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, Ireland. It commemorates the fateful night of 12 May 1916 when a badly wounded rebel, James Connolly (his leg had been shattered by a bullet in the Easter Rising, and he was unable to stand), was strapped to a chair and executed by a British firing squad as an example to the Irish that insurrection would not be tolerated.
Connolly’s death helped to change public opinion about the rebellion. Before his execution, there was little public support for throwing off the chains of British rule. Afterwards, the republican movement gathered momentum, and Ireland became a Free State in 1922, and a Republic in 1937.

A patriot’s death
marked the birth of a nation
in 1916.

The soul of a nation is in the heart of a prison.

Text and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2
More Haiku Heights: “Death”
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon

Posted on January 12, 2013, in Dublin, haibun, Haiku Heights, Ireland, James Connolly, Kilmainham Gaol, senryu, Shadow Shot Sunday 2 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. This moved me, greatly. Thank for that.

  2. A powerful post both in image and words!

  3. Muito interessante…dramático e misterioso. Um abraço!

  4. So simple yet so touching. It says so much with so little. Gorgeous simplicity. Gorgeous shot. genie

  5. Excellent commemoration.

  6. Very striking. Seems that death is a strong force that cast a small shadow (in this photo).

  7. life took root and grew where there was only stone. thanks for sharing this mmt!!!

  8. Such a simple and moving memorial, yes very touching!

  9. Catherine, Riviera

    very moving and evocative shot…

  10. That is a simple reminder that freedom is not always free – Connolly gave his life gladly for a free Eire, the chains now seen as really oppressive by the populace. Instead of quelling dissent, the people were outraged so much the independence was foreshadowed. The simplicity of this scene of death is more powerful that the death of only one man – first then many then freedom. A moving post…

  11. I can only repeat what others have written, it is such a very moving shot of one more very sad reminder of the price we pay for the freedom we have. Hopefully, we won’t waste the price that so many have paid. Thank you for your post today.

  12. Moving haiku!

  13. Thank you..the history was so interesting. Indeed. Freedom is not free.

  14. fascinating bit of history….and a moving haiku tribute…

  15. I’ve seen Connolly’s Cross; your photo and haiku are poignant reminders…of many things.

  16. A simple shadow powerful on its own, but combined with your words even more so. Great Post!

  17. A great posting but a little shadow for such a big cross.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Actually, it’s rather a small cross, less than two feet high. The photo was taken at night, with only a couple of floodlights in the execution yard, so that may have something to do with the shadowing. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. This is a fantastic photo. This symbol has so much meaning without any words, but you frame it in worthy fashion.


  19. dulcinaandgnome

    So moving and spiritual, excellent haiku, indeed, one of the best I have read today about Death, this time giving birth to a free state, sweet green Ireland.
    The image is another jewel…
    Thanks for sharing both.

  20. a dramatic image and very profound suplementing haiku; the haibun text heightened my appreciation for this composition

    much love…

  21. Wow I was very impressed with this post. Love the line at the end “soul of a nation . . . is it yours? The haiku is brilliant too x

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Yes, the final line is mine. I was moved to tears by my visit to Kilmainham Gaol. I’ve also submitted this photo to the New York Times. We’ll see if it appears in print!

  22. A very sad story.

    Shadow of Kindness
    Have a blessed Sunday.

  23. A very powerful image with a very powerful story to go with it. Oddly enough, I had a cross and its shadow that I was going to post for this weekend, but went in another direction. How eery it would’ve been had I posted it.

  24. Great haiku and thanks for the picture and story. Salute to the martyr.


  25. Great history and words – hand in hand. Very powerful. Good luck with NYTimes!

  26. Very powerful and moving, MMT. Well done. 🙂

  27. Some don’t live long enough to see how their lives changed the world…

  28. Powerful image and text…
    I’ve been writing my haiku on my blogspot blog.

  29. Moving in its simplicity. Love that photo.

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