Translation of “Mo dháimh” (“My love of kind”) by Caitlín Maude

A translation by Ian Mac Eochagáin. A rather earthier despair than Saima Harmaja’s

Maceochi's Language Learning

This is my first translation of an Irish poem. I do not have the text, so I listened to a recording (available on CD from Gael Linn and on iTunes) many, many times until I thought I understood most of it. There are still gaps in my understanding though. The Irish text below my translation is my interpretation and thus approximate. The italicised words are the most unsure guesses. Any comment from Irish speakers would be very welcome indeed.

One great advantage to working off a recording is you can hear the poet’s intended intonation. For me, the intonation and pace make this poem. I love the rush of the passages about the poet’s physical condition and her childhood (or at least her post-natal state) and the contrast with the slow, concentrated punctuation of “cloch clár marmair” and “níor dhúirt mé altú roimh bia”.

I still haven’t worked out why the poem…

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