Poems to the English
Some extracts from the Preface and Introduction to a selection of poems by Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh, edited by John Minahane.
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Gofraidh Fionn O Dalaigh, Poems to the English/ Dan na nGall
Edited by John Minahane and published by Aubane Historical Society 2020
The Editor, John Minahane, translated the poems and supplies an explanatory Introduction and Notes. The Irish and English versions of the poems are on facing pages. Gofraidh Fionn O Dalaigh, from Ballydaly on the presentday Cork-Kerry border, is one of Ireland’s greatest poets. This book seeks to make his poetry accessible. The selection here, including his superb poem addressed to the Hill of Clara, leads up to the three surviving poems which Gofraidh made for the English, or English-Irish, earls of Desmond. These intense communications throw light on one of the most famous but least understood facts of Irish history: that the colonists from the first English invasion took up Irish thinking-patterns and ways. The original Irish is given here, in its appropriate script, with facing translations. While the virtuoso musical qualities of the originals cannot be matched, the English versions do try to convey their vitality and main concerns. John Minahane’s introduction explores the historical and cultural context. “I love the rivers of Ireland” and some other poems attributed to the 3rd Earl of Desmond, Gerald FitzMaurice (Gearid Iarla), are included also, as relevant to the theme. Gofraidh’s dates, incidentally, are: born about 1300; died 1387. This book is unique in recent times, as a sympathetic and respectful presentation of the work of one of the great professional poets who were such a distinctive feature of civilisation in Ireland.
Price: £20.00 Paperback
Gofraidh Fionn O Dalaigh, Poems to the English
The Editor, John Minahane, translated the poems and supplies an explanatory Introduction and Notes. The Irish and English versions of the poems are on facing pages.