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Poetry Magnum Opus

Samhain


dedalus
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Coinnigh fós mo chroí amaideach,

ní cúis náire dom os comhair na ndaoine.

Impigh mé de tú, mé a iarraidh seo.

 

Be quiet now my foolish heart,

cause me no shame in the eyes of others.

I ask this of you, I implore you.

 

Lá go leor agus oíche tar éis a ritheadh

i measc daoine nach bhfuil mo chuid féin a --

Fós tá siad chun bheith amhlaidh.

 

Many are the days and nights gone by

among a people who are not my own --

Yet they have become so.

 

Chreid mé mo shaol go raibh mianach,

agus tá sé seo fíor ag amanna áirithe

ach nach bhfuil ag amanna eile.

 

I had a thought my life was my own,

and this is a true thing at certain times

but not at others.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This is not "classical" Irish, more like a stab in the dark - a poke in the right direction. Gaelgeori (the language purists) will be coming after me like the Morríghan. I'll stay a skip and a step ahead: the story of my life so far.

 

Samhain had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. The Celtic peoples, who were once found all over Europe, divided the year by four major holidays. According to their calendar, the year began on a day corresponding to November 1st on our present calendar. November marked both an ending and a beginning in the eternal cycle.

 

The pronunciation (for you language freaks) is "saah-wan". Feb. 1 is "Imbolg"; May 1 is "Bealtaine" (bell-tawn); Aug. 1 is "Lunasa" (loon-asa). Instant Celts!

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

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This is very, very good Brendan. I always understood Samhain to be something sinister, evil, of the occult. Where I live, it's usually mentioned in the same context as Halloween. But I love how you've incorporated it seamlessly into a celebration of life and culture. I say celebration because I detect no regret.

 

This is terrific. I've read it over and over.

 

Tony

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

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There is indeed a sinister aspect because the last five days of the official 360-Day Celtic calendar (they knew damn well about the extra 5.24 days: the Druids created a more accurate calendar than the Romans) were left open to chance before the New Year began. The most dangerous day of all was the day before the year began, now known as Halloween. This is where all the ghosts and goblins come from. It's interesting to see how vestigial memories of pre-Christian festivals can still live on in the modern world. Trick or Treat.

 

The Irish is workabilly. Not elegant. At least it's (expletives deleted) Irish!

 

Everything fine with you? Hope so.

(...snip)

I like life. It makes me laugh and still gives me teenager pangs. We all die, I know, and I'm not afraid of that. I just don't like the thought of being dead forever.

 

Slán anois,

Bren

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

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David W. Parsley

Add me to the list of folks who admire this elegantly composed, fresh, introspective poem.

 

I think it is okay for me to say: Good luck with the sweet little Ms, for both of you!

Life should be delicious.

 

- Dave

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My reaction is wonderment and about half understanding. So the expression "be still my heart" must be as ancient as humans.

fdh

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