Rosenstock i nDoire

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Rugadh Gabriel Rosenstock i Luimneach sa bhliain 1949. Rinne sé staidéar I gColáiste Ollscoile Chorcaí , áit a raibh sé ina bhall d’Innti , grúpa filí óga a d’fhoilsigh iris agus a chuaigh ar fud na tíre ag léamh a gcuid saothair.

Tá an-chuid filíochta scríofa aige chomh maith le leabhair do pháistí agus aistriúcháin go Gaeilge ó theangacha eile – thart fá chéad leabhar ar fad! Bhí sé ina iriseoir agus bhí sé ag obair tamall le RTÉ. Chaith sé formhór a shaoil ag obair sa Ghúm, comhlacht foilseoireachta an Rialtais i mBaile Átha Cliath, ach d’éirigh sé as an phost sin agus thosaigh sé ag scríobh go lánaimseartha. Tá a lán duaiseanna buaite aige agus bíonn ráchairt air mar chainteoir agus mar léachtóir. Bhí Gabriel i nDoire an deireadh seachtaine seo caite agus stiúir sé ceardlann ar an haiku mar chuid de Scoil Samhraidh Cholm Cille. Tá ardmholadh tuillte ag an lucht eagraithe. Thug Gabriel an-léargas ar an haiku, speisialtacht an fhile seo.

Cad is haiku ann? Is dán gairid é a d’éirigh sa tSeapáin agus a d’fhorbair i dtíortha eile. Níl ach trí líne ann. Tá íomhá ar an chéad líne, íomhá eile ar an triú líne agus scarann an dara líne ó chéile iad, nó ceanglaíonn sí iad. Bíonn na híomhánna bunaithe ar an dúlra go minic. Seo sampla de haiku a chum mac léinn a d’fhreastail ar an cheardlann:

spéir thoirní os ár gcionn

critheann an teach-

eagla Dé orainn

Dán simplí atá ann de réir cosúlachta, ach tá sé domhain go leor. Suigh siar agus smaoinigh ar gach focal… Mura bhfuil tú ábalta smaoineamh ar rud ar bith, ná bith buartha: tá a lán amadán eile sa saol seo.(Tá mé ag magadh, tá mé ag magadh.)

Ní cuid d’fhilíocht thraidisiúnta na hÉireann é an haiku. Forbairt atá i gceist. Ach ba chóir dár litríocht a bheith oscailte dá leithéid. Mura bhforbraíonn litríocht, faigheann sí bás. Agus má imíonn an litríocht, imíonn an teanga chomh maith.

Rosenstock in Derry

Gabriel Rosenstock was born in Limerick in 1949. He studied at University College, Cork where he was a member of Innti, a group of young poets who published a magazine and travelled round the country reading their work. He has written a great amount of poetry as well as children’s books and translations into Irish from other languages. – around one hundred books altogether. He has spent most of hi life working for An Gúm, the government publishing company in Dublin, but he gave up this job and started writing full time. He has won many literary prizes, and he is in great demand as a speaker and lecturer. Gabriel was in Derry last weekend, and he ran a workshop on the haiku as part of the Colm Cille Summer School. The organisers of the event are to be highly commended. Gabriel provided powerful insight into the haiku, which is this poet’s speciality.

What is a haiku? It is a short poem which originated in Japan and has developed in other countries. It has only three lines. There is an image in the first line, another image in the third line, and the second line separates them, or it connects them. The images are frequently based on nature. Here is an example of a haiku, written by a student at the workshop:

a thundery sky above us

the house shakes-

the fear of God upon us

It is an apparently simple poem, but it is quite profound. Sit back and think of every word. If you can’t think of anything, don’t be worried: there are many more idiots in the world. (Only joking, only joking.)

The haiku is not a part of traditional Irish poetry. It is a development. But our literature has to be open to this sort of writing. If a literature does not develop, it dies. And if the literature dies, the language dies with it.