May 28, 2010

Stamp Issued to Celebrate Irish Language Poet Máirtín Ó Direáin

A new stamp commemorating the birth centenary of Irish language poet Máirtín Ó Direáin has been issued by An Post, the Irish Postal Service. The 55c stamp features an original painting of Ó Direáin by Irish artist Tom Ryan, and depicts the poet set against the backdrop of his native Aran Islands.

Máirtín Ó Direáin was born on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands in 1910. He was the son of a small farmer and spoke only Irish until his mid-teens, when he left the island to work in Galway Post Office. He later became involved in the Irish Language Theatre through Conradh na Gaeilge (a body whose aim was to preserve the Irish language), and published two poetry collections, Coinnle Geala (1942) and Dánta Aniar (1943) at his own expense. He died in Dublin in 1988.

I'm hoping my next letter from my grandmother will bear this great poet's stamp. Until then, I'd like to share one of my favorite Ó Direáin poems. Faoiseamh is the Irish word for solace, and I have found much solace in this poem over the years whenever I have felt that pull for home. (The English translation is by Rossa Ó Snodaigh.)

Faoiseamh a gheobhadsa       I would find peace
Seal beag gairid For a short time
I measc mo dhaoine In the midst of my people
Ar oileán mara On an island of the sea
Ag siúl cois cladaigh Walking by the strand
Maidin is tráthnóna Morning and evening
Ó Luain go Sathairn From Monday to Saturday
Thiar ag baile At home in the west

Faoiseamh a gheobhadsa I would find peace
Seal beag gairid For a short time
I measc mo dhaoine In the midst of my people
Ar oileán mara On an island of the sea
Ó chrá chroí From torments of the heart
Ó uaigneas duairc From miserable solitude
Ó bhfuar d'aigne From coldness of the mind
Thiar ag baile At home in the west.

Buy Na Dánta here

1 comment:

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you

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