An T Earrach Thiar Poem Translation & Summary


An tEarrach Thiar

Poem

Fear ag glanadh cré

De ghimseán spáide

Sa gciúnas shéimh

I mbrothall lae:

Binn am fhuaim

San Earrach thiar.

 

Fear ag caith eamh

Cliabh dhá dhroim,

Is an fheamainn dhearg

Ag lonrú

I dtaitneamh gréine

Ar dhuirling bháin.

Niamhrach an radharc

San Earrach thiar.

 

Mná i locháin

In íochtar diaidh-thrá,

A gcótaí craptha,

Scáilí thíos fúthu:

Támh-radharc síothach

San Earrach thiar.

 

Toll-bhuillí fanna

Ag maidí rámha

Currach lán éisc

Ag teacht chun cladaigh

Ar ór-mhuir mhall

I ndeireadh lae;

San Earrach thiar.

 

Translation

The Western Spring

A man cleaning clay

From the back of a spade

In the gentle quiet

Of a sultry day:

Sweet is the sound

In the Western spring.

 

A man tossing down

A creel from his back

And the red seaweed

Gleams in the sun

On the white shingle

Glorious the sight

In the Western spring.

 

Women stand in the little pools

At low ebb tide

With skirts tucked up

Casting long shadows

On the peaceful scene

In the Western Spring.

 

Gentle lapping of oars

As a currach full of fish

Comes towards the shore

On a calm golden sea

At eventide

In the Western Spring.

Summary


In this poem, the poet gives us a list of images based on the eye and the ear that amount to the Western Spring for him.

 

The first image is one of sound – the sound a man makes as he scrapes the earth off his spade while sowing potatoes in his little Aran field.

 

The second is visual – a man casting a creel off his back on a white rocky shore, the red seaweed glistening in the sun.

 

The third is also visual – a group of island women knee-deep in salt-pools at low tide, shadows reflected beneath them.

 

The last image is based on both aural and visual – a currach laden down with fish coming ashore on a golden, steady sea, the hollow muffled sound of oars; a sign that the day’s work (and that of this poem) is done.

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