Our Poem Of The Week, presented in association with Poetry Ireland, is Thar Sáile: an Exile Sequence by Patrick Kehoe.

To celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, which runs from 1-17 March, we're presenting the poem in English agus as Gaeilge.

Thar Sáile: an Exile Sequence 


You leaned to the windscreen,

A moth straining to get close

To the bright tune:

"I like that," you said,

Bobby Gardiner's button accordion

Rippling across the static.

The last morning

You were still the pretty maid

Milking her cow;

I noticed you again, standing alone

In the green groves;

Up in the room, I saw you

Comb your hair and curl it;

Then you were the empty space,

Black as night on the quay wall.


Phantasm of twilight

In the canopy of leaves,

Green summer is over-running

The old bridge, a fresh breath off the river.

The tree trunk in the haggard

Is hollow, and he is empty

With longing for Killegney:

Sonic boom of time passing,

Time he walked in Killegney.

Thar Sáile: Rian an Deoraí


Chrom tú i gcoinne an ghaothscátha,

Mar leamhan ar a dhícheall

Teacht i gcóngar an phoirt ghil:

 “Is breá liom é,” a deir tú,

Cnaipchairdín Bobby Gardiner

Le huain cheoil trí cheo an raidió

Ar an maidin dheireanach

Bhí tú fós i d’ainnir gheal

Ag bleán a bó;

Fuaireas radharc fánach eile ortsa,

Id’ aonar sna garráin ghlasa id’ sheasamh;

Thuas sa seomra, chonaic mé tú

Cíor do ghruaig agus cuir cas inti;

Ansin ní raibh ann duit ach folús,

Dorchadas na hoíche ar bhalla na cé.


Baothaibhse bhreacsholasach

Faoi fhorscáth an duilliúir,

An samhradh glas thar fóir

An droichid chaite, anáil úr na habhann aníos.

Tamhan na hiothlainne

Folamh, agus cumha air

In éagmais Chill Éignigh:

Bonnán sonach na gcianta,

Tráth a ghnáthaigh sé an Chill.         

Translation: Conchubhar Ó Crualaoich

Patrick Kehoe was born in 1956 in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, where he still lives.

His first poems were published by the late James Liddy in Gorey Arts Centre broadsheets and issues of The Gorey Detail. Early poems were also published in the Irish Press. In recent times, his work has been heard on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Miscellany, while poems have appeared in Cyphers, Crannóg, The Irish Times, The Stony Thursday Book, Enniscorthy Echo, Natural Bridge, The Scaldy Detail, Red Lamp Black Piano and Dust Motes Dancing in the Sunbeams. His debut collection, Its Words You Want, appeared in July 2011, published by Salmon Poetry, and The Cask of Moonlight was published by Dedalus Press in September 2014. He has written all the lyrics for a forthcoming album by Sonny Condell.