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Page 38 - Allan the Ridge MacDonald, Gaelic Poet: An Introduction to the Mabou Bards

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1 (1555 reads)
 

maintains that Scotland was a landlord-rid? den place where no man could prosper. He makes a clear statement that you lived in poverty and you worked for others. But he calls Cape Breton a land of promise where everybody was sort of given a chance. And I think his poetry reveals this--a sort of a joy in this new world, and the chance to prosper. (How did this response take place?) This is again part of the bardic tradition, where you would have two well-known poets-- John the Hunter was a poet, and he was a cousin, another MacDonald of the same blood stock. Now, he was called The Hunter because his profession in Scotland was that of a professional stalker, deer stalk? er. And he really had lived a privileged life. He was not one of your regular poor peasant Scots. He was a deer stalker pro? fessionally. And he lived a life of free? dom in the hills, and a really very pleas? ant life. And the change was quite drama? tic, when he arrived in Cape Breton. John the Hunter composed a song called "Oran do America," which has been published in sev? eral collections, and he criticized the place, especially Mabou. It's a very inter? esting criticism, too. But Allan the Ridge found this quite unwarranted, and he an? swers each criticism as it comes. (With an? other song?) Another song. This tradition is called "flyting"--where one bard will answer another. There are other terms for it, too. But it's an an? swering. And it's very common in Gaelic po? etry. Oran do America (Excerpt) Le Iain mac Dhomhnuill 'ic Iain (Iain Sealgair) A) Dh'fhag mi duthaich, dh'fhag mi duthchas; Dh'fhan mo shugradh thall. Dh'fhag mi 'n t-aite baigheil, caomh, 'S mo chairdean gaolach ann. Dh'fhag mi 'n tlachd 's an ait' am faict' e. Tir nam bac 's nan cam. 'S e fath mo smaointinn bho nach d'fhaod mi Fuireach daonnan ann. B) Dh'fhag mi cuideachda nam breacan B' aluinn dreach is tuar; Armuinn ghrinne, laidir, inich, Gillean bu ghlan snuadh; Fir chalma, reachdmhor, gharbh, Bu dearg daite an gruaidh, Luchd an fheile 'n am an fheuma Leis an eireadh buaidh. C) Bhiodh Domhnallaich 'nan eideadh gasd', Cha cheum air ais bhoidh ann; Luchd fheile ghartan, chotan tartain. 'S osain bhreac nam ball, 'S nam boineid ura, dubh-ghorm, dathte. Air tus a mach 'nan rang. B' iad fein na seoid nach geill 's iad beo, Bu treun 's a' chomhrag lann. s iad tlachdmhor. D) 'S trie a dhirich mi ri mam 'S mo ghunna 'm laimh air ghleus. Mo mhiann 's an am bhith siubhal bheann 'S mo chuilein seang air eill, Direadh ghlacagan a's gharbhlach, Sealg air mac an fheidh; 'S trie a leag mi e le m' luaidhe, Ged bu luath a cheum. E) Air maduinn chiuin bu mhiannach leam Bhith falbh 's mo chu ri m' shall Le m' ghunna dubailte nach diult Nuair chuirinn suil ri h-earr Luaidhe 's fudar chur 'nan smuid, 'S i cheaird dh' an tug mi gradh, Feadh lubaibh cam air alrd nam beann 'S am bi damh seang a' fas. F) B' e sud m' aighear-sa 's mo sholas Cronanaich nam fiadh, Mu Fheill-an-roid bhith tigh'nn a choir An fhir bu bhoidhche fiamh, Bhith falbh nam bac g'an sealg 's na glacaibh, Nuair bu daite am bian 'S trie a tholl mi mac na h-eilde Seal mu 'n eireadh grian. G) A nis 's ann threig gach cuis a bh' ann Mi 'n so 's mi 'm fang fo chis An tir an t-sneachda 's am feur seachte. Cha b' e a' chleachd mi fhin A bhith faieinn daoine eairtidh, Grannda, glas, gun bhrigh, Le triusair farsuinn, sgiursair casaig, 'S cha b' e 'm fasan grinn. H) Chi thu comhlann ac' ag ol 'S an stor ma theid thu ann, lad ri boilich is ri bosd, 'S iad gorach leis an dram; An aite rapach, poll fo 'n easan, Stopan glas ri ceann, Rusgadh dheacaid diu 's g' an stracadh, 'S iad mar phaea cheard. I) 'S truagh, a righ, gu'n d' chuir mi cul Ri m' dhuthaieh le m' thoil fein, Le bhith an dull 's an ait' as ur Nach faieinn turn 'gam dhith. Ach coir air fearann, or, is earras, Bhith aig gach fear a bh' innt', Bha chuis gu buileaeh orm am falach, 'S mheall mo bharail mi. Pares Canada ?? j|' Parks ?? T' Canada ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK Cm No Admission Charge 'M Winter Schedule: 9 am. - 5 p.m. fSa r38) 3 MAJOR EXHIBIT AREAS: Bell the Man Bell the Experimenter Hydrofoil Hall GUIDE SERVICE AVAILABLE Baddeck N.S. 75 km. west of Sydney on Route 105 '''
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