13 June 2009

Christ in a second-hand car

A poem can often help us see something ‘ordinary’ in a new way or it may help us see something quite extraordinary from the vantage point of ordinariness – bringing us to see a new aspect of its extraordinariness.

Such is a poem in Irish (Gaelic) by Seán Ó Leocháin published in 1986 in Aithrí Thoirní and which I came across in an article in Comhar in May 1992. It is appropriate for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, celebrated tomorrow here in the Philippines and in Ireland.

I’ve never had the gift of writing poetry but will attempt a translation of the poem.

Nuair a tháinig an sagart
When the priest came
chuig m’athair inniu,
to my father today
mar a thagann de ghnáth
as he usually comes
i dtús na míosa,at the beginning of the month
le lón na beatha
with the food of life
a thabhairt d’fhearto give to a man
nach bhfágann an chlúid
who’s been bed-ridden
in aon chor le tamall,
for some time now,
ní hé an gnás ab ait liom féin.it wasn’t the rite that was strange to me.
Ní hé ba mhó

What really
ba bhun le m’iontas
caused my wonder wasn't
fear dá chlú,a man of such repute,
dá chleacht, dá éirimsuch experience, such intelligence
ar cuairt na sean
visiting the sick
i dtús na míosaat the beginning of the month
le comhairle a leasawith good advice
a chur ar dhreamto give to those
nach bhfágfadh clúid na haithrí choíche,who would never leave the cover of repentance again,

ach Críost a theachtbut Christ coming
i gcarr athláimhe
in a second-hand car
a cheannaigh an sagart
the priest bought
ó fhear i Ros Comáin.From a man in Roscommon.


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Fr Sean..I just got a brand new mini! BTW Jacinta my baby makes her First Holy Communion tomorrow!

Oh my mom was 64 yesterday! I used your song!!

Unknown said...

Hi friend i am also agree with you that "a poem can help us see something 'ordinary' in a new way". But sometime it is very crucial to accept the things as it is. Similar case also exist with poetry.

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