Today’s writing artist spotlight is Irish poet, painter and editor George William Russell who also wrote under the name AE. He wrote of mysticism and studied at the Metropolitan School of Art where he became friends with William Butler Yeats. He is the author of Homeward: Songs by the Way which garnered attention in the Irish Literary Revival. It is then, that he met James Joyce who wrote him as a character of Ulysses that dismisses theories on Shakespeare. Russell’s house was a meeting place for others during then Irish Revival who wanted to change the artistic and economic future of Ireland. Social and political issues began to play a greater role in his writing while his self- proclaimed clairvoyant abilities played out as spirits represented in his paintings. He is the author of 18 poetry books and 2 novels. And he was named “the man who was the father to three generations of Irish writers” by Frank O’Conner. Below is his poem Freedom.
I WILL not follow you, my bird,
I will not follow you.
I would not breathe a word, my bird,
To bring thee here anew.
I love the free in thee, my bird,
The lure of freedom drew;
The light you fly toward, my bird,
I fly with thee unto.
And there we yet will meet, my bird,
Though far I go from you
Where in the light outpoured, my bird,
Are love and freedom too.
- George William Russell