We're delighted to present our Poem Of The Day, presented in association with Poetry Ireland. Today's poem is My Mother Remembers her Irish by Mary O'Donnell - read it below.
Like Alice, she has fallen down the rabbit hole.
In a room at the bottom,
rejecting a bottle labelled DRINK ME,
she reaches for the cracked urn of language:
SPEAK ME, it invites.
White hair in disarray, she unstops it.
The contents fizz up and over the lip of glaze
as she recovers the sounds she forgot
after schooling. Now, she has broken away
from the language bunker,
its torqued English,
takes to speech at the midnight hour.
As if fighting the Jabberwocky,
she uses old songs to push against a paralysis
of chair-lifts, walking frames,
they emerge on her tongue, ancient oratorio:
síolta; beidh aonach amárach; cad dúirt tú,
a chailín dil? Ba mhaith liom dul abhaile.
Such softness that rarely found its way in English,
now honeys her tongue in the magical flight of dotage.
Time, released, enriches conversation.
"Did you know that this Republic was born
70 years ago today? Years after the Maglioccos
in the town taught me Mussolini's anthem".
We speak of Easter music, the St. Matthew Passion,
her ceol cráifeach. She wonders
if the sun will dance, Easter Sunday morning,
on the hill above her house at Kilnadrain,
where she wants to return sometime soon.
Mo thinteán féin, she adds.
About the Poet: Mary O’Donnell writes both poetry and prose. Her poetry collections include Unlegendary Heroes (1998), September Elegies (2003), and Those April Fevers (2015). An eighth collection of poetry – Massacre of the Birds – will be published next year by Salmon Poetry. She has recently been awarded a PhD from UCC.