Louis de Paor is one of Ireland’s leading Irish-language poets, and was a key figure in the Irish language poetry renaissance of the 1980s and 90s. His dual-language selection The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue was published in 2014, following his selected poems, Rogha Danta (2012), voted one of the top ten collections in Irish since the turn of the millennium.
This new dual-language selection is mainly drawn from two other collections, Cupla Siamach an Ama/The Siamese Twins of Time and Gra fiar/Crooked Love, with translations made by Louis de Paor with Kevin Anderson and Biddy Jenkinson. It shows a paring back of language and a greater flexibility of form in his poetry, as well as a preoccupation with the passage of time and its implications for both familial and sexual love.
His narrative skill and inventiveness come together in the sequence ‘La da raibh/One day’, which follows a day in the life of an imaginary village in the west of Ireland where the living and the dead, the real and the unreal, collide. This was adapted for a dual-language radio feature with music by Dana Lyn broadcast on RTE Lyric FM and Raidio na Gaeltachta in 2021.