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By the Hearth in Min A' Lea

By the Hearth in Min A' Lea

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Translated from the Irish by Frank Sewell, Seamus Heaney & Denise Blake


That little daisy in a back of beyond street
beamed at me cheerfully
from a tiny crack in the pavement
as I went by.
It was late afternoon, and standing alone
at the edge of the pavement,
he gave a bright sunny welcome
to me, an immigrant.
That daisy, that eye of light,
winked at me,
and lifted my heart
in a foreign city.
I’ve stored that vision
along with just one other –
the first time your eyes shone
at me, with the light of a lover.

Translated by Frank Sewell

Cathal Ó Searcaigh is one of Ireland’s leading poets, recipient of many major literary awards including the Irish Times Literature Prize, a member
of Aosdaná and, in Ireland, a well-known television and radio personality.

Whether writing about the beautiful Donegal landscape, or as a gay man about the intense emotions of love, or about voices and events from the past that resonate in the present, or simply telling a story, Ó Searcaigh is always honest, clear-sighted
and unafraid, lyrical, tender and funny: he tells it how it is.

By the Hearth in Mín a’ Leá is the first selection of Ó Searcaigh’s poetry to be published by a British publisher and as such will be an introduction, for many English readers, to the startling freshness, energy, candour and inventiveness of this most colourful of poets.

CATHAL Ó SEARCAIGH is a poet of international renown and has been published in 10 different languages. He spends each winter in Kathmandu with his adopted Nepalese son.
FRANK SEWELL, musician, songwriter and poet, currently lectures in Creative Writing and Irish Literature in English at the University of Ulster.
SEAMUS HEANEY was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.
DENISE BLAKE was born in Ohio, USA, and in 1969 moved to Co. Donegal where she still lives. As well translating the poetry of Cathal Ó Searcaigh, she is a poet and playwright.