10 April 2014

Poetry Thursday - The Great Book of Gaelic

An Leabhar Mor, The Great Book of Gaelic, is a project published 2003 with 150 poets, artists, calligraphers taking part. The book is on line - you can click on the number and see every page - leabharmor.net/leabharmor

One artist, Steve Dilworth, contributed a print of a rock - it balances on another rock - he'd covered it in lard, then (on a programme made in about 2004, shown on BBC Alba) it was shown burning, fuelled by the fat.

Another (Remco de Fouw) worked only at certain phases of the moon, the dark phases, because he photographed the surface of the sea by holding paper soaked in photoemulsion near the surface, then flashing a light to expose it - then printed it right away in the back of his jeep. (See more of his work here.)

Various poets have translated the "blackbird" poem (written in the year 800 or so) - two versions are shown here (translators David Greene and Frank O'Connor; artist Jake Harvey) -
The little bird 
has whistled 
from the tip 
of his bright yellow beak; 
the blackbird
from a bough 
laden with yellow blossom 
has tossed a cry over Belfast Lough.

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