National Poetry Month 14/30: Uisge-Beatha

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This National Poetry Month(NPM), I am writing and sharing original poems about food, family and feasts. Sundays will be a day to reshare a poem from the past. A list of links to previous poems is HERE.

I am not a big whisky drinker. But I do like a hot toddy when I have a cold or a tè bheag (a small whisky)every once in a while. I’ve been learning Scottish Gaelic so along with that I am writing small poems here and there.
My father’s father was from Scotland (Alba) and he was a big believer of uisge-beatha (whisky) for medicinal uses.

usige-beatha
water of life
a’ ghealach air cùl nan cnoc
cha ghabh mi ach balgam
aon ìoc
for a cold

translation:
whisky
water of life
the moon is behind the hills
I’ll just have a sip
one cure
for a cold

©jone rush macculloch (2020, draft)

Tapadh leat (thank you) to my teacher for minor editing.

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4 Responses to National Poetry Month 14/30: Uisge-Beatha

  1. mbhmaine says:

    I love the line “the moon is behind the hills” and find it so intriguing that you’re learning Gaelic. I, too, would love to hear this poem spoken aloud.

  2. What an interesting poem. It makes me want to linger with it for a long time. (It also makes me want to hear it read aloud in Scottish Gaelic!) This line “the moon is behind the hills” is so interesting in the center of the poem.

  3. Gail Aldous says:

    So nice, Jone! Thank you for the history, too. I would love to hear you say your poem in Gaelic. I love when they sing or speak it on Outlander.

  4. JudyK /J Koval says:

    I like this! I am of Scottish descent, and am intrigued with the language. I had an aunt who once was learning Gaelic, and she taught me how to say a few phrases when I was visiting her. That was a long time ago, and the only phrase I remember how to say now translates to “Don’t be foolish!” (I would write out the Gaelic words, but have no idea how to spell them!) 🙂 ~JudyK

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