Tuesday, March 5, 2013

03- 2013 A Tribute

A tribute to Dónall Ó Conchúir 1847-1930
& his poem 
'Dhá Chích Danann'

At a monastery kitchen table I sat
Listening to old Irish being translated
Clear distinct verse with hidden meanings
Spoken in soft tone like a blended prayer

Lulled, my mind by rhythm travelled
As this other language unravelled
So leaving a rich cream behind I flew
To a land where dreams weave anew

To sit with my back against She - Rowan
Who was clothed in milky lace so delicate
I inhaled deeply her fragrant blossom
A vapour that transmuted me to spirit

A wave that kisses the shores of Erin
The song of Amergin
A breath of hot air that ripens corn
Dew on Bealtaine's morn

A mist that caressed Anu's Paps

©MRL 05 - 03 - 2013

An excerpt from 'Dhá Chích Danann' 
by Dónall Ó Conchúir 1847-1930

"Maidin bhreá Fhómair dom cops mórshruth na méithbhreac
I gcoill chluthair cheolmhair is gan leoithne sna spéarthaibh, 
An lon dubh is an smóilín go beolbhinn ar séideadh,
Gach fás crainn go leor ann is cnó buí in a slaodaibh.
Ag dearcadh whom tharam ba thaitneamhach limo
Ar Dhá Chích Danann ag amharc anon
Is síbhrat na maidne leabhar leata os a gcionn,
Chomh bleachmhar buan bláfar, chomh hálainn in ógchruth"
(Is bhíodar an lá tar éis lámh an Chrúthóra.)

"One beautiful autumn morning beside the great stream of the fertile plain
In a cosy musical wood not a breeze in the sky,
The blackbird and the thrush piping sweetly,
Every growing tree there hanging with ripe nuts.
Looking around me it delighted me
The two breasts of Danann
The mysterious fairy mist spread over them,
As beautiful as the top of the milk that nurtures the child"
(As if they were that day created by God.) ?

Prose translation by Seámus Ó Ceallaháin


  1. This is really inspiring stuff. Many thanks for posting. I'm somewhat ashamed to say I've never have heard of Dónall Ó Conchúir before, but, its safe to say you've whet my whistle!

    1. To hear Dónall's poem being read in Gaeilge is like listening to the winds blowing through the trees or the seas at night hitting the beach and strangely we don't need to understand the language to be inwardly moved.

    Aaaah yes the mystic meandering and Druid craft of brother Mel

  3. I love this poem especially the 'rich cream' & 'the milky lace' which connects so beautifully to Ó Conchúir's poem 'Dhá Chích Danann' - 'The Paps of Anu'.
    The Paps and that area of Kerry is magical and steeped in the mythology of the goddess so you can't help but be inspired.

    1. The Paps are a beautiful sight even when seen from afar and I still carry a mental picture of them, from when I first saw them about thirty years ago.
      They have a very special charisma all of their own and every visitor to Ireland needs to see them, better up close but even from a distance they will get an appreciation of what the ancient builders achieved.

  4. Beautiful! I would love to hear the Old Language spoken.

    1. Thanks Dale.
      The difference between Old Irish Gaelic and today's Irish Gaelic is that the words and phrasing is different and their meaning has changed.

  5. Beautiful. I like the images and the idea of the fairy mist. You've woven lovely word images of milk and lace and magic.

    1. Hello Carol nice to hear from you, please forgive me in being late in replying to your comments which I truly appreciate.

  6. Old languages have a charm that unfolds even if I - as in the excerpt of the Dha Chich Danann - can only imagine the rhythm and lure of the spoken words. As in music I don't have to understand the content (though I'm thankful for the translation).
    And your tribute is beautiful! The Rowan tree - but whom do I tell, you know that - as a 'wicken' tree is the tree of the Goddess (I think that's why you write She-Rowan). I love especially the 'milky lace', because it is so well observed, the sort of off-white (don't know the English word). About the poet I knew nothing, so thank you for 'weaving dreams anew'.

  7. Welcome to this blog Britta.

    Thank you very much for your keen observations, the Rowan is indeed very feminine and at Lughnasadh I will be eating three of her berries for inspiration.

    I am aware of the Rowan, as I planted four of them ten years ago, three in the South driveway and one in the South on the edge of our stone circle in the back yard. For Druids in Ireland the Rowan & the Yew are venerated as much as the Oak is in the UK & Europe.

  8. A most beautiful writing!
    I loved it!