NaPoWriMo Day 16

So the prompt from NaPoWriMo today was really fascinating; the idea is to take a poem in a foreign language and “translate” it without any knowledge of the real translation, just sort of using the shape and sound of the words and lines as a guide. This is my attempt, I’m including the original. It’s in Irish Gaelic, by Caitríona Ní Chléirchín.


Ní file mé ach scáil
a shiúlann trí laethanta
is sráideanna
gan guth, gan teanga.

Mise an leoithne
um thráthnóna séimh is ciúin.
Mise an solas a fhanann
ag deireadh an lae.

Deora báistí a thiteann
gan torann

Ní file mé, ach scáil
ag damhsa ar bhalla
in oíche na tine
ag bailiú rún

Ó d’imigh na focail de mo chroí
gan cheol.


Ok, here we go…



Don’t fill me with scales,

for the shoreline is three long dances

in rainy days,

more good, more tangible.


Misery and little time

of thrice-known shame is come.

Misery and solace are fanning

age desired and loathed.


The hour bathes as titans

great tower.


Don’t fill me, Oh scales;

age damns our valor

in no tiny octaves

as age barely runs.


Oh the image not vocal to me cries

great chills.


Well, there you have it. If you want to read the actual translation, I recommend it; check out and look in the Irish poems.



Posted on April 16, 2013, in NaPoWriMo and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Huh, that’s a really cool idea! Nice!

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