Wake: Up to Poetry
Poem of the Week: “An fuath”/”Hatred” by Máire Mhac an tSaoi
The latest manuscript we’ve been working on in the press is Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s The Miraculous Parish. This book will feature poems written in Irish by Mhac an tSaoi, and translated by other poets into English.
Here’s a sneak preview of one of her poems, written for a political cabaret in New York organized by John Arden as a protest against the Vietnam war:
An fuath (1967)
Is é a dh’éilíonn an fuath fadfhulang
Is é a dh’éilíonn an fuath neamhaithne
agus daille na foighne,
Is é a dh’éilíonn an fuath méar shocair
ar ghaiste an raidhfil—
Is ná scaoil go bhfeicfir gealadh na súl
mar ghealacán uibh id radharc uait!
San am a mbláthóidh an fuath troidfear ar
Is leathfar an ghloine bhriste roimh eacha
póilíní ar cos in airde—
Ach idir an dá linn, an fuath, is maith an
leasú é ar ghairdín
Ar dhu’í gain’í idir dhá thaoide—
mar a maireann ár mná ’s ár bpáistí!
Hatred demands patience and deadened senses,
Hatred waits for its chance;
Hatred keeps a steady finger on the trigger
And won’t pull it till it sees the whites of the eyes
Like egg-whites-whites in its sights!
When hatred blossoms there will be fighting in the streets
And broken bottles flung at the rearing horses of the riot police;
But in the meantime hatred improves the garden
Built on sand-dunes between two tides—
Where our women and children live.
Be on the lookout for The Miraculous Parish this April!