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DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA

 

 

 

Doireann Ní GhríofaDoireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose work has appeared in The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, The Stinging Fly, Poetry, and elsewhere. Her third book ‘Clasp’ was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Award 2016 and was awarded the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize. Among her other awards are the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary 2014-2015 and a Wigtown Award for Gaelic poetry (Scotland)​. She writes "with tenderness and unflinching curiosity” (Poetry Magazine, Chicago).

 

 


 

 

[Mac Tíre]

 

 

Translation: wolf 

Etymology: From the Old Irish macc tíre,

meaning mac ‎(son) + tíre ‎(of the land).

 

We may name our estates Gleann Dara

and Croí na Coille, but in these suburbs,

 

the forest is gone.

Still we sometimes we hear its deleted leaf-song


—when gusts rustle clipped suburban hedges, 

that past returns to us. A forestful of hoarse vowels,

 

the wind-howls of wolves tug us towards them.

Though we cull them, still they come.

 

We hate them, we tell them, we loathe them,

their hulk, their lifted lips, filthy fur thick with dirt, 


every hair alive with lice that hop and prance, 

their clawed paws that leave indelible prints

 

on the cement of our footpaths and patios. No,

we No and No and know it:

 

that these wolves will always

be slinking after us,

 

they are the dark shadows

that cling to our feet.

 

 

 

©2016 Doireann Ní Ghríofa

 

 

Author Links

 

Doireann Ní Ghríofa homepage

Purchase Clasp, Doireann Ní Ghríofa's latest poetry collection

Doireann Ní Ghríofa at Poetry Foundation

More contributions from Doireann Ní Ghríofa at Southword Journal

 

 

 

 

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