Thursday, April 07, 2011

425. The Death Poem of Conor MacArt

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.

Link to Jisei no ku (Wikipedia):