A Bheil A Gháidhlig Agaibh?

Author: Anna Russell / Labels: ,

A bheil a Gháidhlig agaibh?
Do you speak Gaelic?
Speckles of it only, generic
chit-chit. Not enough,
not nearly enough.
Translations are always tricky,
hear it again, hear it literally:
A bheil a Gháidhlig agaibh?
Do you have the Gaelic?
Yes, oh yes.
It flows through my veins, sings
up past the bent grasses, bellows
from the peat bogs, flutters past my ear
as the sídhe sprinkle it on my skin.
This land knows her mistress, will answer
no other commands - and why should she?
She has suffered for this, has earned the right
to her pride. She will retain her integrity though
fewer and fewer can speak with her
as time passes and apathy remains.
This strange tongue of my ancestors, impenetrable
to folk from other places, is beautiful to me.
When I speak the little I can, it nestles on the
roof of my mouth and sits like Home on my tongue.
A bheil a Gháidhlig agaibh?
Not enough, not nearly enough.
Tha mi ag ionnsachadh.
I'm learning.


Soda and Candy said...

This gave me shivers! Beautiful.

S.L. Corsua said...

I'll probably never get the chance to learn it, but I love listening to it, through songs (particularly by Enya). It is indeed beautiful. ;) And "sits like home on my tongue" -- beautifully said. Cheers.