For most of his life Michael Hartnett forded the languages and cultures of places and ages. He completed his acclaimed version of the sixth-century Tao when he was 21.
Translations assembles many such elusive pieces – from Irish (Old, Middle and Modern), German, Chinese, Latin, Latvian and Spanish. Among its riches are ‘The Hag of Beare’, shorter Irish songs and lyrics, the Gypsy Ballads, and poems by contemporary writers, several of them uncollected. A bonus of the book is its presentation for the first time of the works with which this belovèd poet was preoccupied in his final years – by Heinrich Heine and a large selection of lyrics by Catullus.
This volume complements his five collections of translations (of O Bruadair, Haicéad, O Rathaille, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and his own poems in Irish) which remain in print. It reveals the range of a special mind and makes abundantly clear other facets of a cherished contributor to twentieth-century literature.