Poems of the Week

Dublin Down

by Nora Jay
after Yeats

“Joyce fans mourn loss of Dublin’s soul as developers buy House of the Dead …
[A]rtists—and artistic legacy—now face a threat from hotels, hostels and offices … More than 80 new hotel projects with names like Aloft, Central, Hyatt, Grafton, Hard Rock, Iveagh Garden, Marlin, Mayson, Radisson and Wetherspoon are at various stages of development.”
—The Guardian

A chintzy and belated end:
From ruin into fake;
For Death who takes what man would keep
Has many ways to take.
The Officers of Public Work
Had chance enough to bid,
But they did not, admitting thus
Developers, who did.
These know what ghoulish tourists crave
At table or in bed:
What will become of Dublin’s soul
Now the Dead House is dead?

I have heard it said on Google
That if we don’t act soon
All Dublin will be lost to Death,
Hard Rock, and Wetherspoon.
My expectation’s gloomy:
It’s not a pleasing blend:
Old landmarks sold, rates up threefold,
And tourists end to end.
They want red carpets for their feet,
Not Yeatsy dreams outspread!
What will become of Dublin’s soul,
Now the Dead House is dead?