12 April 2006

More Nuala

Here's what I promised last time: Michael Harnett's translation of "Geasa," which I like better than McGuckian's:

Taboos

If I put my hand on holy ground
if I built a river bridge
all built by day by craftsmen
is felled on me by morning.

Up the river a nocturnal boat:
a woman stands in it,
candles alight in her eyes, her hands.
She has two oars.

She takes out a pack of cards.
She asks: "Will you play forfeits?"
We play. She wins each game
and sets me this problem, this forfeit, this load:

never to eat two meals in one house
never to stay two nights under one roof
never to sleep twice in one bed --
until I have found her again. I asked her where she'd be.

"If it's east I am, it's west, if it's west I am, it's east."
Off with her in lightning flashes
and I am left on the bank.
The two candles still light by my side.
She left me the two oars.

(Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Selected Poems / Rogha Dánta)


(A couple of other bilingual editions of her poetry are The Water Horse and Pharoah's Daughter.)

2 comments:

ClickNathan said...

Hi there Pagan,

My name's Nathan and I've set up a pagan calendar with Google Calendar that marks the moon cycles (including Void of Course), the Equinoxes, Solstices, and cross quarter holidays. You can access it via XML (if you have an appropriate reader) or iCal using the following links. If you'd like, you can go to calendar.google.com and, using your Google Account, sign up to use it via their service.

XML :: http://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/v0eu1ejr03leq9hahm2rlsv45s@group.calendar.google.com/public/basic

iCal :: http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/v0eu1ejr03leq9hahm2rlsv45s@group.calendar.google.com/public/basic

You can also go in and comment on the things I've added thus far, or make suggestions for improvements.

Thanks,

Nathan
clicknathan.com

olive said...

I clicked on to make a comment about your lovely poem hosting. And then I started laughing when I saw you'd gotten the same comment spam from the same guy. He's got a phone number on his home website and I think I'm going to call him today and chew him out. And then blog about it.

So what was I here for, lovely poem. I liked the part about her having two candles, which reminded me of Persephone. Great choice and Cheers!