Máirtín Ó Direáin (along with Seán Ó Ríordáin and Máire Mhac an tSaoi) was one of the three leading Irish-language poets of the twentieth century. Publishing his work from the 1940s on, he was the first of the three to make his mark in poetry, heralding a new era in poetry in Irish. Influenced by the landscape, people, and spoken Irish of his Aran Island homeland, Ó Direáin characteristically produced a poetry that was dual in nature: both traditional (in its subject matter) and modern (in its post-Eliot style); both national (with its echoes of Keating, Ó Bruadair and others) and international (with its openness to European and English-language writers); both personal (focussing on his own journey from small island to big city, from Gaeltacht to Galltacht) and communal or even universal (by reaching, as Yevtushenko recommended, from ‘the horizon of the individual to the horizon of humankind’).
This new selection of his poetry includes an introduction and 100 poems (with translations) from all stages of Ó Direáin’s writing career (1940s to 1980s), especially his two major collections, Ó Mórna (1957) and Ár Ré Dhearóil (1962). The selection also highlights some previously neglected poems such as his homage to ‘Mná na hAiséirí’ [‘The Women of the Rising’] and others from both his early and later work. Facing translations of the poems are provided by writer and critic Frank Sewell; one poem is co-translated with poet Peter Sirr; and one poem is translated by Ó Direáin himself.
In ‘Solas’ [‘Light’], Ó Direáin wrote: ‘I never rejected light / From anywhere when it came; / But I ask the foreign light / Not to drown out my own’. This bilingual selection of his work aims to show Ó Direáin’s poems in their own bright light (which has long been appreciated by Irish-language readers) and also to draw some new light towards the unique and invaluable contribution that he made to Irish and world culture; a contribution which earned him numerous awards including the Ossian-Preis in 1977.
|Translated title of the contribution||Máirtín Ó Direáin: Selected Poems|
|Place of Publication||An Spidéal, Co. na Gaillimhe, Éire|
|Number of pages||307|
|ISBN (Print)||9781784441838 |
|Publication status||Published - 19 Oct 2018|
- Máirtín Ó Direáin
- Irish literature
- Irish language