In the Poetry Programme on Sunday 22nd May at 7pm on RTÉ Radio 1, presenter Olivia O'Leary talks with Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh about the major new anthology of Irish language poetry, Bone and Marrow/Cnámh agus Smior.
Subtitled An Anthology of Irish Poetry from Medieval to Modern and edited by Samuel K. Fisher & Brian Ó Conchubhair, this inclusive and comprehensive anthology of Irish-language poetry incorporates Early Medieval Irish poetry; monastic and bardic poetry; the Anglo-Norman invasion; the Reformation; Counter-Reformation; Plantations; the Gaelic Apocalypse; the Restoration; The War of the Two Kings; Penal Laws; Jacobitism; the Great Famine; vernacular nineteenth-century songs; the Irish Revival; Modernism; the Innti poets; as well as new and emerging twenty-first-century voices.
All in, it has 800 pages of poetry, 120 poets, 24 contributors, and 15 centuries of coverage. To get a flavour of the anthology, throughout the programme we hear readings of a number of poems.
An extract of Messe ocus Pangur Bán is read in Old Irish by Liam Ó Murchú, former member of staff of the Department of Early and Medieval Irish in University College Cork, while actor Andrew Bennett reads the English translation. Andrew also reads Dáibhí Ó Bruadair's poem D’aithle na bhFileadh/After the Noble Poets and an extract from Brian Merriman’s The Midnight Court/Cúirt an Mheán Oíche.
We also hear an archive recording of Michael Davitt reading his poem Luimneach, and Ailbhe reads Slán Chugat Thoir/I Bid you Farewell in the East by Áine Ní Fhoghlú, as well as her own poem Manach Eile agus a Chat/Another Monk and his Cat.
The programme ends with a clip from a musical setting by Danú of the anonymous poem Idir Aird Mhór is Eochaill/Between Ardmore and Youghal.
Bone and Marrow/Cnámh agus Smior: An Anthology of Irish Poetry from Medieval to Modern is edited by Samuel K. Fisher & Brian Ó Conchubhair, and published by Wake Forest University Press, and available in Europe via Eurospan.
The Poetry Programme, Sundays at 7 pm on RTÉ Radio 1 - listen to last week's edition below:
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