Cast your dark line
over broken tides.
Blanket the blank spaces.
Stars spring
from your cracks
and the moon rides
in your pocket.


Cast it like shadows
flown from your back.
Hold
that
pose.
Take into you
canyon and wood.


Late nights when
we were together
busying ourselves
in barrooms,
I'd enjoy
our ignorance.


Now I wait for our lines
to potentially collide;
you will hear the gossip
that takes away my
breath.


For I'm not whole,
nor was I ever clean.
But it's me still:
a woman on the line,
bleached and brittle
like old paper.


Cast your nets overseas
and land on your
shadow. My thoughts
will blow away
the canyon walls
and wind will wheeze
through.

Leath do bhrat dorcha
ar mhuir is ar thaoide,
leath é ar na maolchnocáin,
scinneann na réalta
as scoilteanna i d'fhallaing,
éiríonn an ré
as aon phóca amháin.


Leath é mar a leathais
do chuilt suain ormsa,
líonann na scáileanna
as do mhuinearthlaí lán,
fáisc i ngreim daingean
an talamh go hiomlán,
lion suas le d'fhórsa
gach glean is gach má.


Oícheanta fadó
nuair a bhíomar sa phuball
cluthar in abhras,
i bhfionnadh na ngabhar,
má leathais do bhairlín ar raithneach
ba chuma,
do b'fhearr ná riamh an ramsach
a bhaineamar as.


D'fhanainn i bhfillte
do phluide is do chochail,
thiteadh mo shuan orm
i ngan fhios dom féin
Chloisteá an sioscadh
is mé ag caint trí mo chodladh;
d'imíodh an tine in éag
diaidh ar ndiaidh.


Ní corp atá curtha
faoi lár na lice
seo; fós ní haon chnámharlach
measctha le haol.
Mise atá fós ann,
Fas, bean Uin Mhic Uige,
reoite im' charraig
mar a bhain do bhean Lot.


Leath do phluid uaignis
thar muir is thar talamh,
titfidh na scáileanna anuas
ceann ar cheann,
séidfidh mo chuimhní
trí phóirsí na cloiche
seinnfidh an ghaoth
seordán síoraí orm.




Nuala Ní DhomhnaillNuala Ní Dhomhnaill

Born in England, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill grew up in the Irish-speaking areas of West Kerry and Tipperary. As one of the few female Irish poets who write exclusively in Irish, she has been a major influence in revitalizing the Irish language in modern poetry. Her poems have been translated into French, German, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, Estonian, Japanese, and English.

In 1991, she received the prestigious American Ireland Fund Literary Award. Her poetry skillfully blends traditional Irish folklore with the cosmopolitan culture of contemporary Ireland. Ní Dhomhnaill has published four collections of poems in Irish: An Dealg Droighin (1981), Féar Suaithinseach (1984), Feis (1991), and Cead Aighnis (1998), each of which has won the Seán Ó Ríordáin Award. Four bilingual editions of her work also have been published, with English translations by poets such as Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon.

Translated from GaelicGaelic by Brian CroweBrian Crowe

Brian Crowe has recently completed an M.A. in English/Irish literature and culture from Boston College, where he focused on contemporary Irish-language poetry. As an undergraduate at Villanova University, Brian studied under visiting professor Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. He intends to pursue his interest in translation theories at the Ph.D. level.