The Language Issue

An Irish poem by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill translated from the Irish (I know) by Paul Muldoon.

The Language Issue

I place my hope on the water
in this little boat
of the language, the way a body might put
an infant

in a basket of intertwined iris leaves,
its underside proofed
with bitumen and pitch,

then set the whole thing down amidst
the sedge
and bulrushes by the edge
of a river

only to have it borne hither and thither
not knowing where it might end up;
the lap, perhaps
of some Pharaoh's daughter


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