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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Wake: Up to Poetry

"The act of poetry is a rebel act."

Poem of the Week: “Feabhra/February” by Máire Mhac an tSaoi

In “Feabhra” [“February”], Máire Mhac an tSaoi celebrates how the initial, barely visible signs of spring lift her spirits. Sometimes all we need is that warm day in late winter to remind us that spring awaits around the corner and that the dreary cold will be gone soon enough.

February Máire Mhac an tSaoi


Le dhá lá nó le trí do bhog an uain,
Do ghabhas an t-aer mar fhallaing ar mo chorp—
Milis, a Dhé, rómhilis an séasúr!
Leachta gach cruaidh; ní buan ann oighear ná toil.

Dall agus bodhar, a dhaoine romham sa tslí
Ná cífidh an t-earrach ghabh trím ina cheatha
Sciúrtha mar phrás a nitear, ná hairíonn
San aer im thimpeall tinneall sreanga teanna.

Aibigh, a mhian, i ndiamhaireacht na gile,
Ar bior le tuiscint aonraic ar an ndúil;
I gcoim na mire fite mar a bhfuilir
Dulta ó aithint súl, bí teann, a rún.


The weather softened in the last few days.
I took the air for raiment.
Sweet, Jesus, honey sweet the season!
Rocks melt. Nor ice nor reason hold.

You’re blind and deaf, you people who pass by
And will not see spring pierce me with bright showers
Of gleaming brass, and will not hear
Around me, quivering strings.

Quicken, love, in darknesses of light,
Sharp with desire,
Delirious, and out of ken of kin,
Stand firm, my soul, hold tight.

Màire Mhac an tSaoi, translated by Biddy Jenkinson, from The Miraculous Parish (2014)

Categories: Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Poem of the WeekTags: , , , , ,

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