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The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue | Bloodaxe Books

Louis de Paor

The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue

Louis de Paor


Publication Date : 17 Jun 2014

ISBN: 9781780371092

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Irish-English dual language edition

Louis de Paor is one of Ireland's leading Irish-language poets, and was a key figure in the Irish language poetry renaissance of the 1980s and 90s. He has worked closely on English translations of his poetry, with his co-translators fully engaging with the original poem in Irish.

Keenly aware of the more destructive aspects of translation, he and his trio of translators, Kevin Anderson, Biddy Jenkinson and Mary O'Donoghue, have eschewed the modern fashion for so-called "versions", producing English translations which are as close as possible to the original Irish poems without sacrificing their tone, energy, clarity and lightness of touch.

His selected poems in Irish was recently voted one of the top ten collections in Irish since the turn of the millennium.

'While poetry should always be romantic (there never is a practical reason for the stuff) he always avoided the romanticism of the mushy line and the soft tone and the fuzzy diction. There was always something wire-taut about his work. No floss here.' – Alan Titley, The Irish Times

‘Geographically wide-ranging, The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue is also stylistically and thematically varied. However, at its heart there are poems that explore family relationships and love in its various forms. It is in these poems, perhaps, that de Paor is at his most directly affecting and memorable… The elegiac mode is of course well-established in Irish literature, as is the theme of love between a man and a woman. However, de Paor’s handling of this theme has a candour and a freshness that is quite his own… Lively, impassioned and lyrical, The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue is a big-hearted collection from one of Ireland’s most popular Irish language poets.’ – David Cooke, Agenda

‘There is a great deal of narrative play and wit. The imagery is taken from common life as observed at first hand mostly, but transformed by a delight in resemblance and transformation… there is a Chagallian inclusiveness and generosity in the poems that is more than its incidents. The poetry can turn to darkness and the public world as well as to the intimate village or street.’ – George Szirtes, Poetry Ireland Review

This ebook with audio edition of The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale's Tongue includes audio files for 27 of the poems performed in Irish by Louis de Paor, many incorporating music and sound mixes by Ronan Browne. The singer on 'Focaldeoch' is Naisrín Elsafty and the singer on 'Cranndacht' is Zahran Elsafty (VIEW CONTENTS LIST below for full listing).


Louis de Paor reads in Irish and English

Louis de Paor reads eight poems from The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale's Tongue as well as three new poems (asterisked here) from his collection Crooked Love / Grá fiar (2022) in Irish and English: ‘An t-amhránaí’ | ‘The singer’; ‘Báisteach’ | ‘Rain’; ‘Didjeridu’ | ‘Didjeridu’; ‘Idir dhá linn’ | ‘In the meantime’; ‘An cruthaitheoir’ | ‘The creator’;’Cloigíní’ | ‘Bells’*; ‘Luascáin’ | ‘Swings’*; ‘Multi-tasking’ | ‘Multi-tasking’*; ‘Marmalade’ | ‘Marmalade’. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed him reading his poems in Irish and English at his home in Uachter Ard, Contae na Gaillimhe (Oughterard, Co. Galway), Ireland, in April 2017. He reads first in Irish, then in English, but with longer poems completes his reading of the Irish original at the end of the English translation. The reading is followed by a short interview in English about writing in Irish and the survival of the Irish language.

Louis de Paor live at Ledbury Poetry Festival

Louis de Paor reads and introduces a selection of his poems in Irish and English at Ledbury Poetry Festival on Friday 8th July 2017, when he shared the stage with fellow Irish poets Jane Clarke and Rita Ann Higgins. The poems he reads are from his dual language edition The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue plus new poems. Filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce.

Louis de Paor: 'Didjeridu'

Louis de Paor recites his poem ‘Didjeridu’ accompanied by Kev Carmody on didjeridu in the opening sequence of An Dubh ina Gheal, a documentary by Paula Kehoe broadcast on the Irish-language TV network TG4 on 27 September 2016. In An Dubh ina Gheal he returns to his once adopted homeland to explore the complex relationship between Indigenous Australians and the Irish in Australia. At the heart of this exploration is the story of the Stolen Generations, mixed race children who were taken away from their families under assimilation policies, and an Aboriginal resistance lead by 'Shamrock Aborigines', who saw theirs as a shared struggle against a common oppressor. Weaving social and personal history with poetry, An Dubh ina Gheal reveals the hidden story of the Irish in Australia. His poem ‘Didjeridu’ is included (in Irish and English translation) in both in his collection The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale's Tongue and in his anthology Leabhar na hAthghabhála/Poems of Repossession.


Co-published with Cló Iar-Chonnachta

Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin

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BOOKS BY Louis de Paor

Crooked Love

Louis de Paor

Crooked Love

Grá fiar

Publication Date : 24 Feb 2022

Read More
Leabhar na hAthghabhála

Louis de Paor

Leabhar na hAthghabhála

Poems of Repossession

Publication Date : 28 Apr 2016

Read More


Apathy Is Out

Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity

Louis de Paor on Radio

Louis de Paor on Radio

One Day / Lá dá raibh radio feature by Louis de Paor (Gold Award winner in the New York Festivals Radio Awards) rebroadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM; Interview on The Poetry...

Read More  |  View All






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