A Ninth Century Winter Poem – from Old Irish

A. Z. FOREMAN is a literary translator, poet and language teacher currently working on a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages at the Ohio State University. He received his B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago, and his M.A. in Arabic Language from the University of Maryland. His translations from Arabic, Chinese, OldIrish, Italian, Russian, Old English, Ukrainian, Yiddish and Welsh have appeared in sundry anthologies, journals and a BBC radio broadcast. He divides his time between the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen. If you have a dog, he would very much like to pet it.

A Ninth Century Winter Poem

From Old Irish

Here’s my song.   Sad stags moan.

Winter blows,   summer’s gone.

High winds lash.    Low, the sun.

Short, its course.   Seas roar on.

Fall-red fern   loses form.

Wildgeese wail   as the norm.

Cold now holds   each bird’s wing.

Icy times.   So I sing.