Mark Twain – To The Person Sitting In Darkness

Samuel Clemens poet author person civilization darkness ollamh

Mark Twain – To The Person Sitting In Darkness, is a satire critiquing imperialism.  The work reveals, in the Boxer Uprising and its aftermath, the Boer War, and the Philippine–American War, Twain expressing his anti-Imperialist views.  Through classic satire, like an ancient Irish Ollamh Fodhla (great teacher), he taunts those he considered immoral and indicts the conduct of imperialistic behavior by the leading governments of his time.  He uses qualified vituperation to blast the person of over-reaching government involved in acts of imperialism.  This is done in conjunction with the contextual belief that the ‘ruler who is totally just can maintain a perfect balance within the whole of nature.’

Mark Twain person civilization darkness ollamhThe Writer Behind the Name

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist.

Wikipedia: Mark Twain

Mark Twain – The Official Site


Celtic Satire and Metaphor, the Role of the Poet on Over-Reaching Person (s)

Ancient poets frequently resorted to the dangerous use of satire and metaphor as a weapon capable of both revealing inequity and as a verbal or written record that could destroy an enemy’s credibility and acceptability in a tribe or public perception.  Technically speaking the use of satire is essentially a form of cursing something or someone who has deviated from right action or truth.  The act of a poet using truth against a wrong is classic in the honor-conscious, face-saving world of our celtic root culture.

Rulers and governments as integral person (s) that exceed preset boundaries of conduct (over-reach of power) are often praised or dispraised with vituperation by poets and sages.  The general purpose of satire and metaphor is not only to reveal but also to warn rulers about truth and conduct for the nature of civilization and its people depend upon the ruler or government’s integrity.

At the non-heroic level, and sometimes even at the heroic level, the ancient celts also “indulged extensively in the curious proverbial trick equivalent to the English use of phrases referring to self-defeating activities such as ‘bringing coals to Newcastle’.  These metaphors of fatuity, as they might be called, were used playfully, for instance, in the twelfth-century parody The Vision of Mac Con Glinne, a phantom who appears before the hero of the tale says that the futile warning he has given the hero was merely equivalent to”(2):

Mocking a beggar,

Dropping a stone on a tree,

Whispering to the deaf,

A legacy to a glum man.

Satire is a more powerful presentation than gnomic tradition illustrated by ‘list science’ such as the Irish triads or riddles. It is a more direct and pointed application.

(2) The Role of the Poet in Early Societies by Morton W. Bloomfield and Charles Dunn

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