LISTEN: ‘Motherfoclóir’ Valentine’s Day Podcast 9 February 2018

With Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, the team at Motherfoclóir headquarters discuss one of our well-loved books, Filíocht Ghrá na Gaeilge / Love poems in Irish, edited by Ciarán Mac Murchaidh. They recite a number of the poems from the collection, and discuss the status of love poetry in Irish (including its mistreatment in the education system).

Motherfoclóir is a Headstuff podcast from the maker of Twitter account @theirishfor, in which Darach Ó Séaghdha and guests speak about words, Irish, words in Irish and words in Ireland. Have a listen to the Valentine’s Day edition below:

The poems mentioned in this podcast that appear in the book are as follows:

‘Gluais, a litir, ná léig sgís / Go, letter, rest not on your way’ p. 42

‘Aoibhinn, a leabhráin, do thriall / My little book, I envy you your lot’ – p. 66

‘Dar liom, is galar é an grá / Love, I think, is a sickness’ – p. 82

‘A bhean lán de stuaim / O woman skilled in amorous trick’ – p. 102

‘Úna Bhán / Fair Úna’ – p. 120

‘Teanga an ghrá / The language of love’ – p. 240


Spanning over a thousand years of poetry and song in the Irish language, this anthology celebrates the power of love. Here it is in all its aspects – the heady rush of first love; its capacity for fun and levity; sorrow, heartbreak and unrequited love; and the thin line between love and hate. Editor Ciarán Mac Murchaidh brilliantly places this literature within its historical context, injecting new life into classic texts. The passion of the poets themselves is always to the fore as they travel love’s twisted highways.

Anna’s Nielsen’s illustrations add a playful new dimension.


You can buy the book here and listen to more Motherfoclóir podcasts here.

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