January 15, 2003

...And Poetry

excerpts from Nine Little Goats
It's a cock's foot of a night:
If I go on hanging my lightheartedness
Like a lavender coat on a sunbeam's nail,
It will curdle into frogspawn.
The clock itself has it in for me,
Forever brandishing the splinters of its hands,
Choking on its middle-aged fixations.

Darkness will be dropping in
In the afternoons without an appointment,
A wolf's bite at the windowpane,
And wolves too the clouds
In the sheepish sky.

---Núala Ní Dhomhnaill, translated from the Irish by Medbh McGuckian


Núala Ní Dhomhnaill (NOO-la Nee GO-nal), Ireland's foremost present-day poet writing in Irish, was born in 1952 in Lancashire. In 1957, her parents returned to Ireland -- to the Dingle Gaeltacht in Kerry, where she grew up. She writes all her poetry in Irish because she believes that Irish is a language of enormous elasticity and emotional sensitivity; of quick and hilarious banter. Many international scholars have commented that this language of ragged peasants "seems always on the point of bursting into poetry." (Dhomhnaill, 2)- via the Irish Page

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