First verse of a Sean O’Riordain poem I studied for my Leaving Cert. The rhythms are hypnotic (although not in my workmanlike translation below).
Mar sceach faoi thaitint na gaoithe
Ta m’anam a lubadh anocht
Thiar na thoir, nil didean
Mar is poll im cheann gach smaoineamh
Trina luann an ghaoth gan sos
Like a tree urged by the wind
My soul sways tonight
West nor east, there is no shelter
For each thought is a hole in my mind
Through which the wind blows ceaselessly.)
Whenever someone asks me if Irish is really a dialect of English, I puff out my chest and let fly with the strange vowels and gutteral consonants of that poem. Depending on the day, I mean it, too.