Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Day 973: Citybound

Another of the finalists in A Poem for Ireland today and this poem from Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh is so full of energy it is almost alight on the page. I just love the description of the hectic buzz of urban life as 'the present tense bounces recklessly off walls.'  How exact! 

The poem is as Gaeilge, with the English translation below.


Filleadh ar an gCathair - Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

ag filleadh dom,
blaisim allas na cathrach faram.

Deas liom a taiseacht.

Preabann an Aimsir Láithreach
gan aire ó gach balla
i mbrothall an tráthnóna.

Admhaím go músclaíonn
gás sceite
sceitimíní ionam.

Is fíor nach gcítear
luí na gréine
i bhfairsing’ spéire:

Cacann an oíche
idir foirgnimh arda
gan rabhadh.

Ach lasann soilse neon
cúinní coimhthíocha mo chroí.

Faoiseamh a gheobhadsa
ar mo ghrianán gealaí,
mo chluas le hamhrán tráchta.

Citybound - Translated by Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh
Returning tonight
I can taste the city’s sweat
around me.

I like its sweetness.

The Present Tense bounces
recklessly off walls
in the heat of the afternoon.

I admit toxic fumes
intoxicate me.

Although you don’t see
the setting sun here
in the vast expanse of sky:

Night plunges
between tall buildings
without warning.

But neon lights light up
the foreign corners of my heart.

'I will find solace'
on a moonlit ledge,
my ear tuned to traffic’s song.

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