Wall supports Brand Ireland

Friday 27 August 2010 11:12

Following on recent calls by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen and journalist Enda O''Doherty for Irish writers to ''do the state some service'' (and leaving aside the fact that the first man to use the expression [see footnote] committed suicide immediately afterwards), I want to say: Good Taoiseach (as Joe Higgins used to put it) I''m your man. I will do the state some service.

I am prepared to step up to the mark, put my shoulder to the wheel, stand up and be counted, in short to put my skills (sic) as a writer to the service of ''brand Ireland'', as requested. Far be it from me to blow my own trumpet, but I do believe that these important works will capture the spirit of the new Ireland that Mr Cowen advocates.

Accordingly, I would like to advertise the following special offers:

A sonnet entitled ''The Mat'', a heart-warming poem on the subject of the great Irish welcome, thirteen lines of nine syllables each (due to the recession the full sonnet is no longer available. No apologies. This is not our fault. If you feel like complaining take a look at the terms and conditions on the bottom of this page first. I warn you, we have it nailed.).

A sonnet entitled ''Ode to The Banks'' on the subject of the credit worthiness of Irish financial institutions, Shakespearian in structure but without the concluding couplet which had to be deleted after the recent downgrading of Ireland by Standard and Poor.

A riddle in the Delphic style entitled ‘The Smart Economy’. The solution will be available only to qualified persons (computer engineers, accountants, elected politicians, CEO’s of blue-chip companies). The poem will draw on a special vocabulary and will include technical terms such as ‘hub’, ‘gateway’ and broadband roll-out’. Unfortunately this poem, a large file, will only be available by ordinary post as my slow broadband speed makes downloading impractical.

An epic of 2,999 lines on the Fianna Fáil party. The theme of the poem will be the struggle between good and evil. based on Milton''s ''Paradise Lost'', the Party is eventually cast down into Hell. There will be no sequel. ''Paradise Regained'' is not possible in the current circumstances. The final line (number 3,000) has been repossessed by the Credit Union, but may be available from that source.

A martial lyric, in 15 lines divided into four quatrains, entitled ''Forward the Greys'' on the subject of the Green Party''s plans to revolutionise Irish industry, housing and dog breeding. I have commissioned a charming illustration to accompany this poem. It depicts a smiling man wearing a Green Party bumper sticker and surrounded by six breeding bitches (Irish setters) and an interested-looking breeding dog. The sixteenth line is only available to Gold Card customers.

A series of Petrarchan sonnets on places with tourist potential in Ireland, each individual sonnet, to be commissioned by each individual place, will be available in three styles – just the octet, just the sestet (the cheapest option) or the entire fourteen lines. The name of the place will appear prominently in either the first line (first class option), the second line (second class) or the last line of the part or whole (third class).

A poem in the Metphysical style to be called ‘The Double Irish’, using economic jargon to witty effect in describing the role played by a ‘double Irish’ in the loss of a country’s virginity. The poem typically will begin in medias res: ‘For God’s sake look at the spread on Irish Bonds’. The poem will become available on the declaration of the first green shoots in the economy. This poem will also be available in audiobook, Kindle and ePub formats. DRM will apply. Obscurities in the poem will be explained on application (enclosing the appropriate fee) to Bank of Ireland Asset Management.

All poems €499. Concessions €498.

All of these poems will be available on a just-in-time basis so advance notice is necessary. The quality of the works will be guaranteed by the Guaranteed Irish symbol, prominently displayed. The works are guaranteed for ten years or the lifetime of the poet whichever is the shorter. No guarantee is offered after that period. The guarantee is entirely limited to the specified number of lines, words or syllables mentioned in the prospectus. Any suggestion that the poems do not match the description (e.g. a sonnet with fewer than 14 lines) will be fought in court if necessary. Poems are available on a first come first served basis. Any offer of finance or hire-purchase of said poems will be overseen by the Financial Regulator who has us where we are today. The poet offers no warranty as to the durability of the policies, concepts, themes, people, parties or places mentioned in the poems. Warning: the poems may outlive their subjects or vice versa.

Also available a set of Nostradamus style predictions about the future health of the Irish economy, the likely cost of the bank bailout, the effect on health care, elder care and childhood illnesses of the bank bailout, the effect of 300,000 empty houses on climate change, the lotto numbers for next week and the election prospects of all the main parties. (€3.99 each)

Footnote: It is widely believed in Ireland that the first man to say: ''I have done the state some service and they know it'' was Charles J Haughey. However Mr Haughey did not commit suicide immediately afterwards, whereas Othello did.