The Reason I Climb Trees



Na cúiseanna go nDreapaim Crainn

Dreapaim crann is mo bhuataisí orm
M’iallacha ceangailte, bivouac im phaca agam.
Dreapaim an crann is luascaim ann sa ghaoth.
Dreapaim crann d’fhonn úll a stoitheadh
D’fhonn radharcanna a fheiscint soir, siar is romham
D’fhonn domhnán nua a fhabhrú im chroí
D’fhonn deis a thabhairt do sciatháin fás
D’fhonn eitilt a chleachtadh ó chraobh go bláth
D’fhonn imtharraingt na cruinne a ath-thástáil.
Dreapaim crann fé réir ní ionam ’tá fiáin
Dreapaim an crann is luascaim ann gan srian.

The Reason I Climb Trees

A bivvy in my pack, boots donned
laces fastened, I shin up a tree
to dangle all footloose. I climb
to pluck an apple, to survey the
surrounds, east, west and out, to
concoct a microcosmos of my notions, to
give scope to forming wings, to accustom
me to flight from branch to bloom, to
revaluate the globe’s insistent tug.
I climb a tree in answer to the wild
I climb and sway there for the breeze.

(Translation by the author)

Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin was born in the village of Rush, north of the city of Dublin. As a young adult she settled in inner-city Dublin before moving in 2003 to an Irish-speaking region in the south-west of Ireland. Here she adopted the native Irish language as her daily tongue and medium of writing, developing as both poet and dramatist. Her most recent book of poetry, Agallamh sa Cheo, Cnoc Bhréanainn,  52.2352°T, 10.2544°I [Conversation in the Mist, Mount Brandon, 52.2352°N, 10.2544°W], published by Coiscéim (Dublin, 2019), took the Oireachtas Prize for Best Poetry Collection 2018. Three other volumes of her poems were also published by Coiscéim: An Teorainn Bheo [The Shifting Boundary], 2007; Púca gan Dealramh [The Good-for-nothing Pooka], 2010; and Meirge an Laoich [The Kudos of Bandages], 2013.  An Teorainn Bheo took the Oireachtas Prize for Best First Collection of Poetry 2007. Her poem Sanas sa Ghob Daortha [Root-words on the Verge of Extinction] won Duais Foras na Gaeilge 2015. Two short plays of Ní Bheildiúin’s, Port na Mammies, 2010, and Triúr, 2013, were staged by the theatre company An Lab, in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Ceaití became a primary school teacher while based in Dublin. She has also worked as a sound-engineer, an experimental film-maker and as a post-production sound editor. Occasional English language poems by this poet have been published in such magazines as Poetry Ireland Review and Cyphers, under the English language version of her name, Cathi Weldon.

Photo: Rinuccia Marabotto

Italian translation