Monday, 12 May 2008

Nuala O'Faolain (1942-2008)




On Saturday, Nuala O'Faolain died. I've only just seen it as I looked this morning through the Irish Times online. Right now I am listening to her stunningly poignant interview with Marion Finucane, broadcast on April 12. Her talking about her room, saying goodbye to it, her books, her curtains, will break your heart in two. It has mine.

Read obits here here here & here. Then read Are You Somebody? (New Island Books, 1996).

For the rest of today I'm going to listen to Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin, and then to Thíos i Lár an Ghleanna, the words of which I leave you with:

Thíos i lár an ghleanna, tráthnóna beag aréir
Agus a' drúcht 'na dheora geala 'na luí ar bharr an fhéir,
'Sea casadh domhsa an ainnir ab áille gnúis 'gus pearsa,
'Sí a sheol mo stuaim 'un seachráin, tráthnóna beag aréir.

Agus a Rí, nár lách ár n-ealaín 'gabháil síos an gleann aréir,
Ag éalú fríd an chanach agus ciúnas ins an spéir,
Órú, a rún mo chléibh, nár mhilis ár súgradh croí 's nár ghairid,
Agus a Rí na glóire gile, tabhair ar ais an oíche aréir.

Do chiabhfholt fáinneach frasach, do mhalaí bhán', do dhéad,
Do chaolchoim álainn mhaiseach agus glórthaí caoin' do bhéil,
Do bhráid mar chlúmh na heala, do shúil mar réalt' na maidine
'Gus faraor gur dhual dúinn scaradh, tráthnóna beag aréir.

Dá bhfaighinnse arís cead pilleadh 'gus labhairt le stór mo chléibh,
Nó dá bhfaighinnse buaidh ar an chinniúint, char mhiste liom fán tsaol,
Shiúlfainn leat fríd chanach, fríd mhéilte ar chiumhais na mara,
'Gus dúiche Dé dá gcaillfinn, go bpógfainnse do bhéal.

4 comments:

itwaseverthus said...

Thanks for posting the words to Thios I Lar. i listened again to the interview tonight and am still amazed by it. I have long been an admirer of her, but particularly after she published "Are you somebody". I hate to think of that distinctive voice stilled.

Miglior acque said...

Thanks for the comment. Nice to know you're listening. I was a bit stunned by the interview alright. Especially where she talks about what she was wrong about, how she regrets not thinking more, that she thought it was all about passion but she was wrong. And MF asks about love, and there's a pause, and she says, Ah, Love, love is different.

An extraordinary testament.

Shane said...

Thanks for the words on Nuala O'Faolain - I've been reading various obituaries this morning. I think Marian Finucane's memories of her (I think that was in the Irish Independent) were a great tribute. Just stumbled across your blog because I googled Nuala O'Faolain - I'll be reading more of it in future!

Cardiffgal said...

I was driving to a Doctor Appt on Monday and listening NPR here in America when I heard Terry Gross'interview from a year or two ago with Nuala O'Faolain being replayed. I wondered why, then I heard she had died. I am an American woman of 53, born of Irish grandparents and deeply touched by the writing of Ms O'Faolain. I am happy to have her voice to listen to in the coming days, months and years. I will never hear the phrase "as happy as a lark" and not hear her dear voice.

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