May 2017        

Can nobody save this child?

Gabriel Rosenstock presents a version in Irish and English of a poem by the famous Urdu poet Ali Sardar Jafri (1913–2000)

Jafri was a communist poet, writer, critic, and film lyricist. Though born with a silver spoon in his mouth in Uttar Pradesh, he was expelled from university and later imprisoned for his revolutionary views.
RuainneA Morsel
Fíonn a mháthair síoda,His mother weaves silk,
Sníomhann a athair cadás.His father spins cotton.
D’fhág sé dorchadas na broinneHe left the darkness of the womb
Ar mhaithe le croí dubh botháin.For the black heart of a hovel.
Nuair a imeoidh sé,When he leaves it,
Breosla do na muilte a bheidh ann.He will fuel the mills.
Chun a cholainn gan cháim a bheathúTo nourish his innocent body
Cothóidh sé ocras doshásaithe caipitil.He will feed the insatiable hunger of capital.
Caithfidh a lámha go fánach bláthanna órgaHis hands will squander flowers of gold
Agus caithfidh a cholainn a cuid airgid.And the body will spend its silver.
Fuil a chroí a lasfaidh na laindéir ghealaThe bright burning lamps in bank windows
I bhfuinneoga bainc.Will be fuelled by the blood of his heart.
An páiste seo, nach saonta, nach bídeachThis child, so innocent, so small,
Craos caipitil dó i ndán,Destined for capital’s maw,
Ina sheasamh is é ag achainí os íseal:Stands pleading silently:
Nach bhfuil éinne in ann mé a shábháil?Can nobody save me?

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