For all translators up late this evening, the latest instalment in our 'poems about translation' series is Eiléan ní Chuilleanáin's wonderful 'Gloss/Clós/Glas', from the collection The Girl Who Married the Reindeer.
The poem's opening lines echo an ancient Irish poem about the scholar/translator and his cat quoted in a previous instalment of the series:
Look at the scholar, he has still not gone to bed,His mission: to find two words
Raking the dictionaries, darting at locked presses,
Hunting for keys. He stacks the books to his oxter,
Walks across the room as stiff as a shelf.
[...] as close as the noteHe must work until '[t]he rags of language are streaming like weathervanes,/ Like weeds in water'...
On the uilleann pipe to the same note on the fiddle -
As close as the grain in the polished wood, as the finger
Bitten by the string, as the hairs of the bow
Bent by the repeated note [...]
This magical poem in full can be found here.