Amergin’s Successors Respond

It could be said that – mythologically speaking – Amergin was Ireland’s first Professor of Poetry. Certainly, as their leader and lawmaker, he made sure to make poetry central to his Gaelic people’s appropriation of Ireland when they migrated here from Galicia. He used poetry to calm a storm, and, most famously, when he put his right foot on the shore at Waterville and recited what has become known as The Song of Amergin. So, for our inaugural Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering in June 2018, we thought it appropriate to ask Ireland’s Professors of Poetry to write their own poem in response to Amergin’s original poem. We were delighted with the five magnificent poems, by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Harry Clifton, Michael Longley, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Paula Meehan, that resulted.

These poems, together with Amergin’s Song in the original medieval Irish with translations into modern Irish and English, are collected in a handsome book titled Unde Scribitur, with an introduction by Paddy Bushe, who also did the translations, and wood engravings by Holger Lönze and Karen Hendy. Dedicated to the late Anthony Clare, it is available in two editions: a limited edition of 150 copies, and a digital reproduction edition. The limited edition was handset and printed by Heiko Rolff and Tor Cotton of Ponc Press, An Daingean, Co. Chiarraí, on a Heidelberg platen press in 13 pt. Garamond

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