Claustrophobia


Next to the wine
Stand a candle and terror,
The statue of my Lord
Bereft of its power;
What's left of the night
Is massing in the yard,
Night's empire
Is outside the window;
If my candle fails
Despite my efforts
The night will leap
Right into my lungs,
My mind will collapse
And terror be made for me,
Taken over by night,
I'll be darkness alive:
      But if my candle lasts
      Just this one night
      I'll be a republic of light
      Until dawn.


     Irish; trans. Patrick Crotty


Sean O Riordain, Irish, trans. Patrick Crotty, Brosna, Sairseal O Marcaigh Tta, 1964.