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An Crann - The Tree

tree

By Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill (NOO-la Nee GO-nal), Ireland's foremost present-day poet writing in Irish, was born in 1952 in Lacashire. In 1957, her parents returned to Ireland -- to the Dingle Gaeltacht in Kerry,

There came this bright young thing
with a Black & Decker
and cut down my quince-tree.
I stood with my mouth hanging open
while one by one
she trimmed off the branches.

Another version:

Do tháinig bean an leasa
le Black & Decker
do ghearr sí anuas mo chrann.
D'fhanas im óinseach ag féachaint uirthi
faid a bhearraigh sí na brainsí
ceann ar cheann.

The fairy woman came
with a Black and Decker
She cut down my tree.
I watched her like a fool
cut the branches one by one.

Do tháinig bean an leasa
le Black & Decker
do ghearr sí anuas mo chrann.
D'fhanas im óinseach ag féachaint uirthi
faid a bhearraigh sí na brainsí
ceann ar cheann.

(1) From "The Tree," a translation of "An Crann,"
by Paul Muldoon in Pharoah's Daughter
(2) Selected Poems: Rogha Dánta,
translated by Michael Hartnett.
Poem index
Background music: Cherish the Ladies
Courtesy of Jack and Vivian
IrishPage.com 2002

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