Wednesday, 23 December 2020

The Festive Backroom 7: Eoghan Stewart

Fantastic to squeeze another young Gael Into the Backroom, proof of the language’s continued vitality. Here’s Eoghan Stewart introducing himself and his poems:

“ Here's a wee pair of poems, both improvised whilst out walking, they kind of sit together in my mind. I'm not really one for writing in response to "These Times" but what the alast few months has given me is the opportunity to explore far an wide around the formerly indigenous Gaelic speaking areas of the Aird between Beauly and Loch Ness, so I've got a lot of mileage of seeing the Gaelic words come alive. I hate using the twisted anglicized spellings so I'd rather do an awkward ENGLISH gloss where I can. That's probably where the first poem Indigenous Summer comes from, a proper "Indian Summer" day and seeing those broken spellings on the map. The second one is just about the joys of being in the Highlands on a cold winters day even in a crappy world. Anyway bud hope you like this stuff. What can I say about myself, I reckon I'm pretty much the late noughties early 2010s Arsenal of Gaelic Poetry, polling consistently 2nd or 3rd in most poetry prizes, but never winning the big deals most of the time, just playing this game for the sheer love of writings, not taking it too seriously and just loving the craic, in Northwords Now mostly. I'm a Gaelic teacher and broadcaster who loves the shinty, been brought up all over the Scotland but I'm an indigenous voice with a big interest in land rights and indigenous language rights. Should have my first collection Beum-sgeithe out next year on Acair fingers crossed."

Samhradh Tùsanach

chaidh mi a-mach 
taobh Ach a’ Phobuill
ach bha an geata glaiste
ag ràdh ‘rathad prìobhaiteach’

air Slighe a’ Ghlinne Mhòir
lorg mi slighean eile
’s thàinig mi gu Coire Foitheanais
tuathanas - baile - air fhàgail

ghabh mi an rathad
a dh’ionnsaigh
Baile a’ Chreagain
‘s lorg mi 
poit-stil fhuadan
ann an caochan fìor

bha mi air m’ iùl
tron a’ mhonadh
le sanasan air an cur
le daoine saor-thoileach
agus mapa an airm

ràinig mi mullach Càrn na Leitire
thug mi sùil a-mach air tìr
a tha air a cur an cèill
le faclan cam cèin

Indigenous Summer - I went out by (THE FIELD OF PEOPLE) but the gate was locked saying ‘PRIVATE ROAD’ on the GREAT GLEN WAY I found other ways and came to (CORRIE OF MEANING OBSCURE) an abandoned farmstead I took the road toward (THE TOWN OF THE ROCKY PLACE) and I found a mock up black still in a true (STREAM HIDDEN BY BRACKEN)I was guided through the mountainside with signage planted by diligent volunteers and the Ordnance Survey map I reached the (STONY HILL OF THE HILLSIDE) and looked out upon a land expressed in crooked alien words

Geamhraidhean Gallta

shuas mu Bhlàr na Seann Chrìche
far am bi an crodh ’s na preachain
eadar Innis a’ Chatha ’s Mam a’ Chatha
agus A’ Chaiplich Mhòr
’s eu-coltach e 
ris na geamhraidhean gallta
a chosg mi air sràidean gruamach
ann an Glaschu, Dùn Èideann, Lunnain

shuas mu Bhlàr na Seann Chrìche
tha an t-àile glan ’s tha an iarmailt glas
thoir dhomh an talamh cruaidh
thoir dhomh an talamh iarainn
thoir dhomh an deigh, an reòthadh, an fhuachd
thoir dhomh an t-siorraidheachd uaine seo
agus gealladh geal a’ gheamhraidh Ghàidhealaich
’s ceò mo bheatha ag èiridh mu mo choinneamh 

Lowland Winters - today around the PLAIN OF THE OLD BOUNDARY where the kye and the kites are between THE MEADOW AND THE PAP OF THE BATTLE and THE HORSE PLACE it is so dissimilar from the lowland winters I spent on grim streets in glasgow, edinburgh and london
today around the PLAIN OF THE OLD BOUNDARY the air is clean and the sky grey give me the hard earth give me the iron earth give me the ice the frost the cold give me this green eternity and the white promise of the Gaelic winter and the mist of my life rising before me

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