Le sùil air ais gu latha cuimhneachaidh an Olocoist air Diciadain dàn smuaineachail le Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh. With a look back to Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday, a contemplative and powerful poem by Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh.

Fearghas

LAOIDH ANN AM BEUL AN LÀ

“Às dèidh Auschwitz chan eil bàrdachd ann.”
(Theodor Adorno, feallsanach agus sgrùdair-ciùil)

“Dè th’ann am fear-ealain nad bheachdsa? Na dhearg amadan gun ach sùilean aige mas e peantair a th’ann? Gun ach cluasan aige mas e fear-ciùil a th’ann? No gun ach clàrsach aig gach ìre dhe chridhe mas e bàrd a th’ann?…Is ann chan ann! – Tha e aig an dearbh àm an sàs ann am poilitigs… Chan ann gus seòmraichean a sgeadachadh idir a tha peantaireachd. Is e inneal-cath a th’ann airson ionnsaigh agus dìon an aghaidh an nàmhaid”
(Pablo Picasso, peantair)

Tha bàrdachd ann às dèidh Auschwitz.
Canaidh mi le meas e, oir chan eil mi nam Iùdhach.
Cha toir sinn a’ bhuaidh sin dha na Nàsaich –
an t-òir mu dheireadh a spìonadh as ar beul
‘s ar teanga lapachadh le glas-ghuib gathach.
Dè ach bàrdachd a churas saor ar n-uirghioll?
– gach meatafor na uèir ghlan-geàrrte
– gach dàn na bheàrn-èalaidh.

Tha peantadh ann às dèidh Dachau.
Canaidh mi le meas e, oir chan eil àireamh ghorm air mo làimh.
Cha toir sinn a’ bhuaidh sin dha na Nàsaich –
Kristalnacht gun cheann a dhèanamh de ar sùilean
‘s air ar reatanathan a dheargadh ath-ìomhaighean uamhainn.
Dè ach peantaireachd a churas saor ar fradharc?
– gach stràc-bruise na ghath-solais
– gach canabhas na phriosm imfhios.


Tha
ceòl ann às dèidh Buchenwald.
Canaidh mi le meas e, oir cha do chaith mi reul buidhe riamh.
Cha toir sinn a’ bhuaidh sinn dha na Nàsaich –
gach eun fhuadachadh à làrach ar cinn
‘s nar cluasan adhlacadh mac-talla neo-bhàsmhor a’ bhàis.
Dè ach ceòl a churas saor ar claistinn?
– gach teud air ghleus na sgiath air chrith
– gach fonn na laoidh am beul an là.


A HYMN ON THE LIPS OF DAWN

‘No poetry after Auschwitz’
(Theodor Adorno, philosopher and music-critic)

‘What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only his eyes if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre at every level of his heart if he is a poet?…On the contrary, he is at the same time a political being…No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war for attack and defense against the enemy’
(Pablo Picasso, painter)

There is poetry after Auschwitz.
I say it respectfully, for I am not a Jew.
We won’t give that victory to the Nazis –
to pluck the last gold from our mouth
and traumatize our tongue with a barbed-wire gag.
What but poetry shall deliver our speech?
– each metaphor a severed wire
– each poem an utter breach.

There is painting after Dachau.
I say it respectfully, for my arm bears no blue number.
We won’t give that victory to the Nazis –
to make an endless Kristalnacht of our eyes
and brand our retinas with after-images of horror.
What but painting shall screen our vision?
– each brushstroke a beam of light
– each canvas a prism of insight.

There is music after Buchenwald.
I say it respectfully, for I have worn no yellow star.
We won’t give that victory to the Nazis –
to banish every bird from the ruins of our head
and seal in our ears the undying echo of death.
What but music shall make our hearing sound?
– each vibrant string a trembling wing
– each melody a hymn on the lips of the dawn.

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