Paddy Bushe

QuotationsNotes

Life
1948- ; b. Dublin; influenced by and friendly with Michael Hartnett; issued Poems With Amergin (1989); Teanga (1990); Counsellor (1991), on Dan O'Connell; Digging Towards the Light (1994); In Ainneoin na gCloch (2001); Hopkins on Skellig Michael (2001); The Nitpicking of Cranes (2004), and To Ring in Silence: New and Selected Poems (2008); lives in Kerry.

Works
Poetry
  • Poems with Amergin (Dublin: Beaver Row 1989), 60pp.;
  • Digging Towards the Light (Dublin: Dedalus Press [1994), 63pp.;
  • To Make the Stone Sing (Killarney: Sceilg Press/Wolfhound Press 1996), 70pp., ill. [with col. paintings by Catríona O'Connor];
  • In Ainneaoin na gCloch (Baile Átha Cliath: Coiséim 2001), 47pp.,
  • Hopkins on Skellig Michael (Dublin: Dedalus Press 2001), 68pp.;
  • The Nitpicking of Cranes (Dublin: Dedalus 2005), 78pp.;
  • Gile na Gile (Coiscéim 2005), 63pp.;
  • To Ring in Silence: New and Selected Poems (Dublin: Dedalus Press 2008), xvii, 217pp.
Translations
  • , Iain Crichton-Smith [Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn], Teanga, aistrithe go Gaeilge ag Paddy Bushe (Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim 1990), 21pp.;
  • trans., with Yu Jiàzhong, An Góstfhear / The Ghost Man [Gui Nah], leagan Gaeilge le Gabriel Rosenstock (Coiscéim 2005), 243pp.;
  • trans. Rogha Danta / Selected Poems, by Gabriel Rosenstock (Indreabhán: Cló Iar-Chonnachta 2005), 193pp.
Miscellaneous
  • ed., Podium II: An Anthology of Poetry from Samlaiocht Chiarrai/Kerry Arts Festival 1997 (1997), 50pp.;
  • ed., Voices at the World's Edge: Irish Poets on Skellig Michael (Dublin: Dedalus Press 2010), 191pp.

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Commentary
James McAuley, review of The Nitpicking of Cranes [inter al.], in The Irish Times (12 Feb. 2005), p.10: ‘Paddy Bushe's new book from Dedalus gives account of his personal response to China, its poets and its terrain. At the centre of the book are his Irish and English translations of Rilke's “'Buddlia in Glory”. A companion dual-language poem records the experience in a Buddhist temple which unblocked the “...threshold customs / Squatting like guardians against my entering”. He includes several more poems in both languages, inviting intriguing readings. The subtle shifts of tone between wonder and scepticism in “Ag an Droichead a Cruthaiodh Ar Neamh /At the Bridge Made in Heaven” would be ample evidence of his mastery of the craft and his broad range of treatment and subject. His short dedicatory poem for Zhiang Xiang, in thanks for an engraved version of his name, reflects the excitement of discovery through translation. / The same poet has also been involved in one of a flood of interesting translations by Irish poets during the past decade or so. He translated the selection (1966-2000) from the marvellous Chinese poet, Zhang Yé, into English, assisted by Prof Yu Jiàzhong, and into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock.’ Further, ‘not only a fine achievement by all concerned [...] an enthralling adventure [...; &c.]’

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Paula Meehan - in interview with Jody Allen Randolph (‘The Body Politic: A Conversation with Paula Meehan’) in An Sionnach: A Journal of Literature, Culture, and the Arts, 5, 1 & 2 (Spring & Fall 2009), ‘[...] Paddy Bushe has a wonderful poem, “Poets at Smerwick” where he has Spenser and Raleigh going back to their tents at night having organized on one day the execution of six hundred people - they apportioned out five prisoners to each soldier so they could share the burden of killing - so he has them going back to their tents after a day’s campaigning cleaning the gore off their swords and getting out their quills to pen a few lines. The last line of the last sonnet in his sequence is “such tidy minds could make [261] a sonnet scan.” So I thought that the sonnet would be the ideal form to bring some of that energy in; even if that’s never stated, it’s there in the karma of the form.’ (p.261.)

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Quotations
Li Bai’s Last Poem”: ‘The more my boat rocks, the more / Exuberantly the moon disports itself / Among the ripples. I dip my oars / Into one shining facet or another / Of that reflected light, and I zig and zag somehow to the lake's centre // And spin myself to a shaky stop. / On the shore a lantern flickers. / I can hear the cry of my peacock / Bounce itself from star to brittle star / And rattle into silence. I uncork / My wine-jug and ceremoniously pour / A measure for myself, and a measure / Ceremoniously, as always, for another ...’ (Quoted in Hugh McFadden, review of To Ring in Silence, in Books Ireland, Summer 2008, p.150.)

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Notes
To Ring in Silence: New and Selected Poems (2008), incls. poems to Michael Hartnett and Angela Liston; “High Ground” [for Somhairle MacGill Eain], “After Love”, “A Dream of Lapwings”, “Tides”, and “High Tide” [for his mother; “Stroke” [for his father]; “Jasmine”, “Surprised by Joy”, “Poets at Smerwick” [including riposte to Spenser's ‘gentil knight pricking on the plaine’]; “Hopkins on Skellig Michael”, “Skellig Cycle”, “Poems with Amergin”; “Counsellor” [on Daniel O'Connell], “The Fidldealr/An Veidhleadóir” [for Martin Hayes]; also on political themes, “Good Friday Assemblage”, “Work Done”, “During the Bombing of Baghdad”, and “Arctic Hare”. (Se review by Hugh McFadden in Books Ireland, Summer 2008, pp.150-51.)

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