Freedom/Saoirse ~ Séan O Ríordáin

A reading and singing of the poem ‘Freedom’ written by Seán Ó Riordain. It was written in Irish as ‘Saoirse’, and Iarla Ó Lionaird sings it, while Paul Muldoon reads his translation simultaneously. It’s a satire on people’s mistrust of the unfettered state. One of my absolute favourites..

Freedom

I’ll go out and mingle with people.
I’ll head down on my own two feet.
I’ll walk down tonight.

I’ll go down looking for Confinedom,
counteract the rabid freedom
coursing here.

I’ll fetter the pack of snarling thoughts
hounding me
in my aloneness.

I’ll look for a regular chapel
chock-a-block with people
at a set time.

I’ll seek the company of folk
who never practise freedom,
nor aloneness,

and listen to pennythoughts
exchanged
like something coined.

I’ll bear affection for people
without anything original
in their stockthoughts.

I’ll stay with them day and night.
I’ll be humble
and loyal to their snuffed minds

since I heard them
rising in my mind
without control.

I’ll give all my furious affection
to everything that binds them
to every stockthing:

to control, to contracts, to the communal temple,
to the poor common word,
to the concise time,

to the cowl, to the cockerel, to the cook,
to the weak comparison,
to the coward,

to the cosy mouse, to the cost, to the covert flea,
to the code, to the codex,
to the codicil,

to the cocky coming and going,
to the costly night gambling,
to the conferred blessing,

to the concerned farmer testing
the wind, contemplating
a field of corn,
to co-understanding, to co-memory,
to the co-behaviour of co-people,
to the co-stockthing.

And I condemn now and forever
the goings-on of freedom,
independence.

The mind is finished
that falls into the abyss of freedom.
There’s no hills made by god there,
only abstract hills — specifically of the imagination.
Every hill crawls with desires
that climb without ever reaching fulfilment.
There’s no limit to freedom
on Mount Fancy,
nor is there limit to desire,
nor any relief
to be found.

Saoirse

Raghaidh mé síos i measc na ndaoine
De shiúl mo chos
Is raghaidh mé. síos anocht.

Raghaidh mé síos ag lorg daoirse
Ón mbinibshaoirse
Tá ag liú anseo:

Is ceanglód an chonairt smaointe
Tá ag, drannadh im thimpeall
San uaigneas:

Is loirgeod an teampall rialta
Bhionn lán de dhaoine
Ag am fé leith:

Is loirgeod comhluadar daoine
Nár chleacht riamh saoirse,
Ná uaigneas:
Is éistfead leis na scillingsmaointe,
A malartaítear
Mar airgead:

Is bhféarfad gean mo chroí do dhaoine
Nár samhlaidh riamh leo
Ach macsmaointe.

Ó fanfad libh de ló is d’oiche,
Is beidh mé íseal,
Is beidh mé dílis,
D’bhur snabsmaointe.

Mar do chuala iad ag fás im intinn,
Ag fás gan chuimse,
Gan mheasarthacht.

Is do thugas gean mo chroí go fíochmhar
Don rud tá srianta,
Don gach macrud:

Don smacht, don reacht, don teampall daoineach,
Don bhfocal bocht coitianta
Don am fé leith:

Don ab, don chlog, don seirbhiseach
Don chomparáid fhaitíosach,
Don bheaguchtach:

Don luch, don tomhas, don dreancaid bhideach,
Don chaibidil, don líne
Don aibítir:

Don mhórgacht imeachta is tíochta,
Don chearrbhachas istoíche,
Don bheannachtain:

Don bhfeirmeoir ag tomhas na gaoithe
Sa bhfómhar is é ag cuirnhneamh
Ar pháirc eornan:

Don chomhthuiscint, don chomh-sheanchuimhne,
Do chomhiompar comhdhaoine,
Don chomh-mhacrud

Is bheirim fuath anois is choíche
Do imeachtaí na saoirse,
Don neamhspleáchas.

Is atuirseach an intinn
A thit in iomar doimhin na saoirse,
Ní mhaireann cnoc dar chruthaigh Dia ann,
Ach cnoic theibi, sainchnoic shamhlaíochta.
Is bíonn gach cnoc díobh lán de mhianta
Ag dreapadóireacht gan chomhlíonadh,
Nil teora leis an saoirse
Ná le cnoca na samhlaíochta,
Ná níl teora leis na mianta,
Ná faoiseamh
Le fail.

Written by Seán O’Riordáin.

A bonus Poem from O Riordain…

DON’T TOLERATE APATHY

Sor1

There is not a fly, not a moth, not a bee
Of God’s creation
Not a man whose welfare is not our obligation.
Not a woman: it is intolerable
To ignore their anxiety.
There is not a halfwit
Where the mad congregate
Beside whom we should not sit
And keep society as long
As he carries on our behalf
Our sickness in his mind.
There is no place, no stream, no bush,
However remote, no stone,
North, east, west or south
Whose situation we should not consider
With love and compassion:
However distant southern Africa
However high the moon
They are ultimately part of us:
There is no place on earth
Which was not witness to our birth.

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About

Generally just Being. Nothing in particular, no claims to fame. I like gardening and the sea, nature, art in all forms from poetry to films and everything in between, and being in the company of my family.

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized

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