Saturday, 24 November 2007

Stillness... transience

Int én bec
ro léc feit
do rinn guip
glanbuidi:
fo-ceird fáid
ós Loch Laíg
Ion do chraíb
chairdbuidi.
- 9th century Irish


The small bird
let a chirp
from its beak:
I heard
woodnotes, whingold, sudden:
the Lagan blackbird.


The economy of means, the sense of a huge encircling stillness, of swiftness and transience all at once, these qualities recall equally the traditional haiku and the 20th century imagist poem...

Seamus Heaney in today's Guardian on the relationship between Irish, English and Japanese poetry.

2 comments:

Tall Girl said...

beautiful

Lucy said...

'whingold' - intoxicating.