(Sraith Ghréagach)

I – Sa Chréit
(do Sheán Ó Tuama)

Bhí Chania spéiriúil ceart go leor,
Mar a mhaígh na treoirleabhair thaistil
Ach b’áille linne fós Agios Nikolaos
Ar fhilleadh dúinn i ndeireadh an lae—
Na crainn péine ar an gceann tíre
Ar aghaidh na gréine ag dul faoi di
Ina gcrainn seoil as scéal a eachtraíodh fadó
Tráth ba fhíon dorcha go fóill an bhóchna.

II – Zakynthos
(do Greg Delanty)

Dar le sanasaíocht leamh amháin
‘Baile Cnoic’ ó ‘Za’ agus ‘Kynthos
is brí le hainm na háite is le hainm an oileáin.
De réir an tseanchais, ámh,
mac Dardanos Rí é Zakynthos,
fear a sheol thar sáile lá
faoi dhéin Ithaca na rámh
is nár fhill ó shin
ag fágaint a athar bhoicht
ansan ar an dtráigh fholamh.
Agus féach nach ar bharr an chnoic
atá an baile sin anois
ach thíos cois an chladaigh,
is a shúil le muir.

III – Palaiokastritsa, Corfú
(do Theo Dorgan)

Árthach gan saoirseacht
ar snámh san aigéan,
Dán gan éisteacht
dá rá ag an ngaoth,
Fíodóir mná
ag dífhíochán,
An seol gann ar éadach
nuair a ghealann an lá.

Tá Odaiséas ar seachrán
Gan tuairisc air ná tásc.
Is tá cloch déanta le fada an lá
Dá long i seanchas an oileáin seo.

 


 

Seascape
(A Greek Sequence)

I – In Crete
(to Seán Ó Tuama)

Chania was beautiful alright,
As the guide books maintained
But we found Agios Nikolaos nicer
Returning at the end of day—
The pine trees on the headland
Against the sun as it declined
Ships’ masts in tales of times long past
When the ocean was still as dark as wine.

II – Zakynthos
(to Greg Delanty)

According to one prosaic etymology
‘Hill Town’ from ‘Za’ and ‘Kynthos
gives us the name of this place
and also of the island.
According to folklore, though,
Zakynthos is the son of king Dardanos,
who sailed across the ocean long ago
toward Ithaca of the oars
and was heard of no more
leaving his father alone
on the sorrowing shore.
You may notice how
the town is not on the hill
but down by the waves now,
waiting still.

III – Palaiokastritsa, Corfu
(to Theo Dorgan)

An unwrought vessel
afloat on the sea,
An unheard poem
recited by the breeze,
A weaver woman
deweaving,
The loom short of cloth
when the day dawns.

Odysseus gone astray,
Without hide or hair of him,
His ship turned to stone
In the local folklore long ago.

–Translated from the Irish by Martin Howard