What’s Your Favourite Irish Love Poem?

What’s Your Favourite Irish Love Poem?

Yes, we know yesterday was Valentine’s day but we also think that if you love someone, you should share your feelings with them and make them feel special not just during one holiday, right? In this increasingly agitated world, love deserves more than just one day in February.

That’s why we encourage you to celebrate a whole week this February if not even more! Like all other things, it’s best to start slow and improve so we thought to give you some inspiration by sharing with you some of our favourite Irish love poems.

Why not tell us in the comments which are your favourites?

Here are some of our favourite Irish love poems, let us know if you like them.

1) Fand Yields Cúchulainn to Emer

This Irish love poem involves the hero of so many Irish legends, Cúchulainn, who fell for a woman of the otherworld Fand. Emer , his wife, was prepared to fight to keep her man and Fand let go of ‘her man’ and returned to the otherworld.

Anonymous (9th-12th Century)

Emer, he is your man, now,
And well may you wear him,
When I can no longer hold him,
I must yield him.

Many a man has wanted me,
But I have kept my vows.
I have been an honest woman,
Under the roofs and boughs.

Pity the woman loves a man,
When no love invites her.
Better for her to fly from love
if unloved, love bites her.

(Translation from here)

2) The Planter’s Daughter, by Austin Clarke

When night stirred at sea
And the fire brought a crowd in,
They say that her beauty
Was music in mouth
And few in the candlelight
Thought her too proud,
For the house of the planter
Is known by the trees.

Men that had seen her
Drank deep and were silent,
The women were speaking
Wherever she went –
As a bell that is rung
Or a wonder told shyly,
And O she was the Sunday
In every week.

3) When you are old by W. B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

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2 thoughts on “What’s Your Favourite Irish Love Poem?”

  1. Hey guys,

    Thank you so much for adding poety to this course!
    I’m a Romanian (salut, Cătălin! 🙂 with no Irish heritage whatsoever, but I’ve been in love with Irish (both Gaelic and through its English mouthpiece) for years, also due to its intrinsic poetry!

    Le meas,

    Angela

    1. Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your comment.

      We are glad to hear that you like our blog post.

      Feel free to contact us at any time, if you have any questions regarding our lessons.

      Le meas,
      Ana.

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