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The Death Poem of Conor MacArt

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An Dán Bás Conchubhair Mac Airt




Tá mo chroí bánú.

I bhfuil cónaí lá fada agus leisciúil.

I mo óige a bhí mé ghaiscíoch,

I meán-aois a bhí mé comhairleoir,

I seanaoise mé díomá.


My heart is fading.

My days were long and lazy.

In my youth I was a warrior,

in middle age a counsellor,

in old age a disgrace.




The Japanese warrior class (侍: samurai) had a tradition of writing death poems known as Jisei no ku: 辞世の句, often before committing ritual suicide to expiate some breach of honour. In Ireland, as usual, we do things differently. This is not a translation (well, obviously it has been translated) but a first attempt to write an original poem in Irish. I'm waving at you, somewhat forlornly, before a mountain of outraged pedantry falls down on me .... but not here, I hope.

Jisei no ku (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_poem

Edited by Tinker

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Very inspiring, Brendan, your having written the poem first in Irish and then translated it. I like how it looks and would love to hear how it actually sounds. Please consider putting an audio copy of this in the audio forum.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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very good.

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Tongue held firmly in cheek ... the old Irish failing!

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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This sounds very Chinese. I agree with "cynicism" in Ben's comment, or self-mocking. Very good, I think.


Thanks for the write.



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Ah, another voices the need to hear your poems....Brendan,


I write about the Death Poem or Jisei in the Japanese Forms Forum. I hope you don't mind if I add a link from the article to your poem. I think it is an appropriate example in English. Nice.



~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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