This is the opening line of an untitled poem that’s gone wildly viral. Social media posts claimed that it’s “a poem written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara” and that was “reprinted during 1919 Pandemic.” But like so many things that get passed around our digital world, warp speed highways, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Truth is… this is not a case of history repeating itself in the most profound way (some of the language in the poem offers a clue of that improbability). The poem was written last month – in March 2020 – by a woman named Kitty O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain from Wisconsin, in trying to process the worsening news surrounding the catastrophic spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, its sentiment and message are just as profound as if it had serendipitously reemerged from more than a century ago.
Oprahmag.com tracked down Kitty O’Meara for an interview. This is her story, which includes an added twist about her poem now gone viral… Irene Vella, an Italian journalist, claims that O’Meara’s work is a translation of her own poem. O’Meara denies those claims. Vella’s poem, written in Italian, is also inspired by coronavirus, but is apparently different, per the translation.
Irene Vella, an Italian journalist, claims that O’Meara’s work is a translation of her own poem. O’Meara denies those claims. Vella’s poem, written in Italian, is also inspired by coronavirus, but is apparently different, per the translation.
Kathleen O’Meara, also known under her pen name Grace Ramsay (1839 – 1888), was an Irish-French Catholic writer and biographer during the late Victorian era.
She was the Paris correspondent of The Tablet, a leading British Catholic magazine. Irish Monthly also published many of her serialized and biographical works. O’ Meara also wrote works of fiction where she explored a variety of topics from women’s suffrage to eastern European revolutions. The majority of her novels contained Catholic themes and social reform issues.