Monday, June 28, 2010

Tuesday Poem: "I am Raftery . . . "

Translated from the Gaelic of Anthony Raftery (1784-1835)

I am Raftery the poet,

Full of hope and love,

My eyes without sight,

My soul without torment,

Going westward on my journey

By the light of my heart,

Weary and tired

To the end of my road.

Behold me now

With my back to the wall

Playing songs

To empty pockets.


Is Mise Raifteirí an file,

Lán dúchais is grádh,

Le súile gan solas,

Le ciúnas gan crá.

Ag dul síar ar m'aistear

Le solas mo chroí

Fann agus tuirseach

Go deireadh mo shlí

Féach anois mé

Is mo chúl le bhfalla

Ag seinm ceoil

Do phócaí folamh.

For "Tuesday Poem" based in New Zealand.


  1. oh, my...full of love and hope, but with eyes without sight...
    how curious....

  2. Such a different quality from some of the Anglo Saxon poets I have read (and loved). The heart forces in this are so strong.

  3. Melissa: if you want to know more, please click on the green name to read about Raftery, who was actually blind.

    Signs: more heart, yes. The voice here could have become self-pitying but does not because of the taut lines and that last stanza with its command. I like so much how Raftery comes so close to maudlin- danger but does not succumb.

  4. i love looking at the Gaelic words!
    and the English, no fancy words...plain speaking.

  5. With me first girl friend being from Ireland, this surely was felt. Thank you for this much needed escape into memories and the longing to share a few miles with him.
    Please have a great Wednesday.

    daily athens

  6. Chelsea, Brighton, Portland, Athens! Lovely to hear from you after you've listened to Raftery.

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