Friday, February 25, 2011

spring, hopes

Hopes in new growth--of plants, seeds, yard and garden areas, travels--arise with spring.  Look at this wonderful poem about hope or, if you will, about language, about life, about art!  Last week M met Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, the poet.  She said to him about this poem that, at one point in a busy day with much and much with the children happening, she wondered to herself  WHAT WAS SHE DOING? WRITING POETRY IN THIS LANGUAGE THAT PEOPLE DIDN'T READ ANYMORE?  CRAZY!  And then she began writing the poem.  She writes in old Irish, Gaelic, and I have copied the Irish title here but not the Irish words of the poem, alas.  (You can find them, yes.)  The translation here is by Paul Muldoon.

Ceist na Teangan
(The Language Issue)

I place my hope on the water
in this little boat
of the language, the way a body might put
an infant

in a basket of intertwined
iris leaves,
its underside proofed
with bitumen and pitch,

then set the whole thing down amidst
the sedge
and bulrushes by the edge
of a river

only to have it borne hither and thither,
not knowing where it might end up;
in the lap, perhaps,
of some Pharaoh's daughter.

  -Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill    c.

No comments:

Post a Comment