I ventured up to Ireland’s functional capital—Dublin—from Ireland’s real capital—Cork—this past weekend to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. My friends and I scoped out a great spot just in front of President Higgins and the GPO. It was a great time a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this country that I have grown to love—a day for the memory books.
As part of the St. Patrick’s Festival, Stephen James Smith wrote a poem entitled My Ireland. (It can be viewed on YouTube here.) Rather than offer my own reflection of these past few days and Ireland’s national holiday, I offer this work of art that has encouraged me to find pause and consider my time here from a different vantage point.
Smith’s poem is a rousing reflection on what it means to be Irish in Ireland. It is a journey through history, culture, memory, and ultimately, identity. I’m happy that my time in Ireland thus far has helped me begin to understand this place—it’s history, culture, memory, and identity—beyond the surface. For it is through this exploration of what many see as their My Ireland that I’m gaining new insight into how I define what My America is. And for that, I’m quite grateful.