Our November Poem of the Month is in memory of Tom Mac Intyre who died on 31 October 2019. ‘Poetry’ by Tom Mac Intyre is translated from ‘An Fhilíocht’ by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

PoetryPharaoh’s Daughter - Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Almost spent
the small bird landed
on my window-sill,
don’t know where from,
don’t know where gone,

a scantling,
he nested — circumspect — in my arms,
got back his strength, began to sing.

I lost myself,
lost day and night,
followed the music
east of the moon
and west of the sun
and oh red-ripe the garden-o . . .

when I awoke
he was gone,

I open my window,
I place on the sill
the bowl of water,
the reddened grain.

translated by Tom Mac Intyre
from ‘An Fhilíocht’
by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
from Pharaoh’s Daughter (1990)

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