Saturday, October 22, 2011

Take the Picture!

Class Portrait – Connemara, Ireland, 1892

Come, wee bairns.  Please.  Concentrate.
This will just take a minute.
Lads, lassies:  Co-operate!
It’s not so bad now, init?

While you stand there a-wigglin’
and squirmin’ and full o’laugh,
look up…No more a-gigglin’.
Flash!  And then a photograph.


Notes:  The above picture was the prompt thoughtfully provided for today by Sepia Saturday.  It is a portrait of school children in Connemara, Ireland, from somewhere back the 1890s.  

Because of that, I decided I needed an Irish poetic form to compliment the photo, so I chose the form Ae freslighe (pronounced 'ay fresh lee'.)  

If you are interested and would like to find out more about the form, check out The Poets' Garret.


  1. I liked that!

    I just stopped by to congratulate you. You've won yet another Limerick-Off Honorable Mention! Limerick of the Week 32.


  2. Lovely poem.
    I can't help but wonder if some of these children were infected with lice. Several seem to have shaved heads.
    Nancy Javier

  3. Your poem is amusing and a perfect accompaniment for the photo.

  4. "No more a-gigglin' ..." In the photographer's dreams, maybe! Wonderful!!

  5. Nice words to accopany the photograph. Perhaps I'm being a little pedantic, but I think it's unlikely a flash was used. I like the comment about lice, and I agree - very likely.

  6. Hi!

    I realize that I have many comments to return regarding this post and many others, but I wanted to address something to Brett Payne...

    ...while you may be right that flash might not have been used for this particular picture, artificial light was used in photography since 1839 roughly.

    Although expensive (and highly dangerous) flash photography was well in use by 1887, by mixing magnesium powder with potassium chlorate.

    By the 1890s. magnesium lamps were being pioneered, too.

    However, since this photograph was 1.) taken outdoors in what appears to be daytime sunlight conditions and 2.) the school where the children were photographed was mostly likely a poor(ish) rural school - and therefore not likely to be up on the latest technologies (please note: this is only an assumption here) - flash, per se, was probably not used.

    Finally, lest you think I am being disrespectful of your post, please note that my intention is quite the contrary - I wrote this poem without checking my facts first, which I should have done - and therefore, you were right in pointing out the probable anachronistic error.

    Oh - and one other thing - I kind of agree with the lice assessment. -RJC

  7. Yes, you're right about flash photography being available long before this, and I think you were well within the bounds of artistic license to include flash!

  8. It is nice to think that this was the context of the photograph - and judging by the mischievous smiles on one or two faces, you might just be right.