All posts tagged: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

The Mermaid in the Hospital by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

The Mermaid in the Hospital   She awoke to find her fishtail clean gone but in the bed with her were two long, cold thingammies. You’d have thought they were tangles of kelp or collops of ham.   ‘They’re no doubt taking the piss, it being New Year’s Eve. Half the staff legless with drink and the other half playing pranks. Still, this is taking it a bit far.’ And with that she hurled the two thingammies out of the room.   But here’s the thing she still doesn’t get — why she tumbled out after them arse-over-tip . . . How she was connected to those two thingammies and how they were connected to her.   It was the sister who gave her the wink and let her know what was what. ‘You have one leg attached to you there and another one underneath that. One leg, two legs . . . A-one and a-two . . .   Now you have to learn what they can do.’   In the long months that …

An Mhurúch san Ospidéal by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

  An Mhurúch san Ospidéal Dhúisigh sí agus ní raibh a heireaball éisc ann níos mó ach istigh sa leaba léi bhí an dá rud fada fuar seo. Ba dhóigh leat gur gaid mhara iad nó slaimicí feola. ‘Mar mhagadh atá siad ní foláir, Oíche na Coda Móire. Tá leath na foirne as a meabhair le deoch is an leath eile acu róthugtha do jokeanna. Mar sin féin is leor an méid seo,’ is do chaith sí an dá rud amach as an seomra. Ach seo í an chuid ná tuigeann sí — conas a thit sí féin ina ndiaidh ‘cocs-um-bo-head’. Cén bhaint a bhí ag an dá rud léi nó cén bhaint a bhí aici leosan? An bhanaltra a thug an nod di is a chuir í i dtreo an eolais — ‘Cos í seo atá ceangailte díot agus ceann eile acu anseo thíos fút. Cos, cos eile, a haon, a dó. Caithfidh tú foghlaim conas siúl leo.’ Ins na míosa fada a lean n’fheadar ar thit a croí de réir mar a thit …

Posterity and all that.

Recently, I wrote a post about how government bodies tend to view poetry. Indeed, I would say that given funding cuts to poetry and writer’s societies on both sides of the English Channel, the view tends toward jaundiced misunderstanding rather than outright aggression. The image embedded in the piece was that of a woman placing flowers  at Ted Hughes‘  memorial stone in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey. Ted Hughes’ stone was placed in close proximity to that of  T.S Eliot‘s in the Abbey.  Eliot, the banker, the poet, and  editor of Faber and Faber  mentored and supported Hughes. Eliot’s writing was of the monumental type, and clearly directed to posterity, it lacked intimacy. I will admit that my favourite Eliot is his play, Murder in the Cathedral. I have for years tangled with the voices of the women, the chorus. This then is poetic-posterity. These women of Canterbury are doom-sayers, they are the Greek-chorus. They are both ignored and later chided for their melodramatic utterances.  They are however heard and regarded by the martyr Thomas À Becket. They are not in the …

An evening of women’s literature at the Irish Writer’s Centre (06/01/2012)

The Irish Writer’s Centre,  last evening  06/01/2012,  hosted along with Dublin City Council a celebration of women’s poetry, music and literature to mark Oíche Nollaig Na mBan (Women’s Christmas). The event was presented by June Considine. And what a night it was. The event was bi-partite in structure, with readings by three poets and story-tellers to begin, a brief interval filled with music was quickly followed by three more readings by three more women writers. The first half was decidedly poetic, with readings in English and Irish by Celia de Fréine, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Eilis Ní Dhuibhne. Celia De Fréine read In Relation to Each Other, Dearbhail , Celia Óg , and Ophelia. Dearbhail was indeed heart-breaking, the tale of the murder of Dearhbail by jealous women. Eilis Ní Dhuibhne read two tales , The Man Who Had No Story and The Blind.  Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill read from a few collections, Including from my favourite Pharaoh’s Daughter, with translations by Paul Muldoon,  Michael  Hartnett,  and Dr. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.  Poems read included , The Language, Dán do …

‘Geasa’ le Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

  Má chuirim aon lámh ar an dtearmann beannaithe, má thógaim droichead thar an abhainn, gach a mbíonn tógtha isló ages na ceardaithe bíonn sé leagtha ar maidin romham.   Tagann  aníos an abhainn istoíche bád is bean ina seasamh  inti. Tá coinneal ar lasadh ina súil is ina lámha. Tá dhá mhaide rámha  aici.   Tairrigíonn sí amach paca cartaí, ‘An imréofá brieth?’  a deireann sí. Imrímid is buann sí orm de shíor is cuireann sí de cheist, de bhreith is de mhórualach orm   Gan an tarna béile a ithe in aon tigh, ná an tarna oíche a chaitheamh faoi aon díon, gan dhá shraic chodlata a dhéanamh ar aon leaba go bhfaighead í.  Nuair a fhiafraím di cá mbíonn sí,   ‘Dá mba siar é soir, ‘ a deireann sí, ‘dá mba soir é sior.’ Imíonn sí léi agus splancacha tintrí léi is fágtar ansan mé ar an bport. Tá an dá choinneal fós ar lasadh le mo thaobh.   D’fhág sí na maidi rámha agam. Geasa le Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill,  as Pharaoh’s …