Thursday 18 January 2007

Poetry, Gael linn and Irish...

To my horror and shame I can barely spell in Irish anymore, so rusty has the little drummed into me in school become. But...this will soon be remedied, I hope. I have enrolled in Gael linn's "MEÁNCHÚRSA" apparently geared towards adults like me, who did learn Irish in school, took it for the Leaving Certificate and were actually once reasonably fluent. Then completely forgot everything they ever learnt as their brain atrophied and their mind liquified over the years.

I really want to speak fluently, more than anything else but one of my ambitions is to write a poem in Irish. I have written Roscanna before but elliptic obscurity is almost de riguer when doing so, with the result that one can get away with horribly bad grammar. The translations of OI poetry I have read have influenced the content and style of my poetry, as has the rhythm and style of the poems beaten into us in school, despite my brain's best efforts to delete all data.

More than this though, the music of our national tongue itself is the music of Irish poetry in either language.

And today Irish had a day out in the European parliament:

Famous first words: Gaeilge makes its EU debut 'Is mór an onóir dom labhairt i mo theanga dúchais anseo tráthnóna inniu'

The atmosphere around the European Parliament is infectious all the Irish MEPs contributing to debates are opening their contributions with a few words of Irish to test the system.

It has even spread to the press centre when a number of Irish language journalists are working for the week, and where most of the conversations are handled in the first language.



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