Friday, September 7, 2012

I haven't been doing much writing despite the attempt at a new novel, but I have with the help of that soft furnishing blogger, been doing  a little poetry prompt weekly. The cushiony one gave us a prompt last week to invent an imaginary non-English poem and to 'translate' it. I had so much fun with this. Here is the result :)

(The 'history' surrounding the 'poet' and his 'poem') -

This poem "Grey" (originally "Laith"), is from the early 20th century poet James Skeffington, a poet inspired by the Gaelic Revival, but whose work was less idealistic than that movement, and  more cynical - an influence derived most likely from his close friendship with social nationalist, James Connolly. This poem from Skeffington, a tragic take on the Irish Famine, for him not ancient history, but a tragedy that would have affected those but a generation or so before him, is one of his earlier works, when he wrote solely in Irish....


Only grey seed stones half buried
in barren soil
lie sowed
not to grow
instead to sleep
and stagnate
to cause the mothers
to weep and children
to cry and pull and drag
to whimper
and men to silently hang
shadow dwellers
more useless than the
limestone crop
limp impotent bystanders
providers hobbled
the brave belly fired few
who could cobble together
some worth
escape, sail to a new world grave
and leave behind the walking dead
those to be buried beneath
those limestone memorials
no inscriptions
the striations,
lichens, calcite reflections
their only consecrations.

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