Is cuimhneach liom uair
A bheith ag ábhaillí amuigh sa ngarraí
In éindí le mo dheirfiúr
Thar éis don teaghlach aistriú soir,
I remember larking about
with my sister one occasion
in the garden
after the family had moved east

Agus gur shróic mé féin mionn mór
Is gur bhéic mo mháthair
and that I was heard
to omit a fearful curse and mother shouted:
Dúin do chlab, a chonúis bhradach,
Clean out your mouth, you bastard
Nó cloisfidh Dia do chuid cainte
or God will hear what you said!

Sé nach gcloisfidh, ar ndóigh
Of course he won't –
Arsa mise – nach bhfuil Dia ann i gcónaí
says I – sure and isn't God still
Síos an bóthar
living down in the west
Thiar i Muicneach Idir Dhá Sháile
somewhere near Ballinakill.
Rody Gorman

from Bealach Garbh (Dublin: Coiscéim, 1999)

Reproduced by permission of the author and translators.
Spominjam se, kako sva se nekoč,
ko smo se preselili sem na vzhod,
s sestro, kdo ve zaradi česa sprta,
obkladala z zmerljivkami sred vrta,

pa mama, ki zastala je med vrati,
eno prav grdo je od mene ujela:
»Umij si usta, poba, naj te strela,
če ne, te Bog bo slišal, kakšne klatiš!«

»Ne bo me, ne,« sem brž povzdignil glas,
»ne bo me slišal, saj si govorila,
prej, tam doma, da Bog živi bliz nas,
v deželi tam okrog Baile na Cillea!«
translated by Milan Jesih
Eh mind ersin aboot
Wi meh suster wanced
In the gairden
Efter the femlie flittit aist

An that eh wis heerd 
Tae lat oot an affy curse an mither yelloched:
Sind oot yir gub, ya bastart
Or God’ll ken whut you said!

Course he’ll no
Eh sehs,
God’s stull doon in the west, ken
Bides oot near Ballinakill!
translated by Matthew Fitt
’Rwy’n cofio hyd heddiw’r achlysur –
O’n i’n chwarae ’da ’n chwaer rownd y lle
Ac ’rwy’n gwybod taw yn yr ardd oedd hi,
A’r teulu ’di symud i’r de.

A dyma fi’n rhegu’n reit ffyrnig,
A ’mam hithau’n gwaeddu yn llym –
“Paid ’siarad mor frwnt, yr hen ddiawl bach,
Mae Duw’n medru clywed pob dim!”

Ond, “nac yw, mae’n siwr,” meddwn innau,
“Mae hynny’n amhosibl – mae Duw
Heb symud ei dy^ o’r gorllewin
A dod i Gaerffili i fyw.”
translated by Aled Llion Jones
Rody Gorman

Rody Gorman was born in Dublin in 1960 and now lives on the Isle of Skye; he writes in and translates between, Irish and Scottish Gaelic. 

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Milan Jesih

Milan Jesih, born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is a poet, playwright and translator who studied comparative literature in Ljubljana. In the 1960s he was a member of an avant-garde literary-performance group. Now a freelance writer and winner of the Prešeren Foundation Prize (1986), Jesih has translated more than forty plays (Shakespeare, Chekhov, Bulgakov). He was President of the Slovene Writers Association 2009-2011. He has published eight collections of poetry, the most recent being Soneti, drugi ('New Sonnets', 1993) and Jambi (2000).

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Matthew Fitt

Matthew Fitt is a poet and educator, working in the field of Scots language education. 

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Aled Llion Jones

Aled Llion Jones studied at the Universities of Leeds, Helsinki and Cardiff, and was awarded a doctorate from Harvard University in 2011. He lectured in Welsh at the Celtic Studies Department of Lublin Catholic University, Poland and at the School of Irish, Galway University, Ireland, before joining the staff of the School of Welsh at Bangor University in 2011. He is a member of the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters, Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru (English-Welsh and Welsh-English).


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About Mionn/Swear

‘Voyages & versions / Tursan is Tionndaidhean’ was the title of the translation workshop run by the Scottish Poetry Library and Literature Across Frontiers 12-18 May 2003. The group consisted of Petr Borkovec (Czech Republic), Mererid Puw Davies (Wales), Jakub Ekier (Poland), Matthew Fitt (Scotland), Rody Gorman (Scotland), Milan Jesih (Slovenia),  Doris Kareva (Estonia), Esther Kinsky (England) and Aled Llion (Wales). The group spent days at Moniack Mhor writing centre in the Highlands, returned to the Library in Edinburgh and went up to Dundee Contemporary Arts, and gave multi-lingual readings, producing what was, in effect, an hour’s sound-poem. Several of the poets mentioned their sense of renewed faith in poetry – how refreshed they felt by the chance to look closely at their own and others’ work in company with people whose aesthetics might be quite different but whose skills and passion were recognisably similar.