Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire is an Irish keen or lament that's been described as the greatest poem of the 18th century. And we'd never heard of it. It wasn't on the curriculum when we were at school. Would be interested to know if that's changed @Motherfocloir
The poem was composed by Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill after her husband Art's murder. It is a wail of grief, but it's also thirsty af - possibly why they didn't teach it! "what a hearty bed-mate you'd be, what a man to share a saddle with, what a man to spark a child with"
Perhaps the most surprising thing in @DoireannNiG's A Ghost in the Throat is that she first encountered the Caoineadh at school. The book is her attempt to unearth Eibhlín Dubh's own story, too often told only in relation to the men in her life...
...her dead husband and her nephew Daniel O'Connell. "How swiftly the academic gaze places her in the masculine shadow" she says. Sadly true of so many women in history. The book sets out to redress that, while translating the Caoineadh and finding parallels with her own life.
"Literature composed by women was shared not in books but in female bodies, living repositories of poetry and song" @DoireannNiG calls this a 'female text'
If you're a fan of women's untold stories, as we #WildGees are, A Ghost in the Throat is worth a read. If you're curious now about the Caoineadh have a listen to this version in the original gaeilge by soprano @SoThisIsLiz
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