Joe Steve Ó Neachtain
Cló Iar-Chonnacht 2015
Tugann na dánta seo léargas ar shlí bheatha mhuintir an scríbhneora. Pléann na dánta gnéithe éagsúla de shaol an phobail agus dearca an fhile ar eachtraí móra agus beaga a shaol go dtí seo.
Mar a chuir Joe Steve fhéin é, “le linn deireadh an chogaidh i 1942 a rugadh mé, ar bhaile beag na Crí Duibhe, timpeall ceathrú mile taobh thiar den Spidéal i gConamara. Bhí sé d’ádh nó b’fhéidir de mhí-adh orm nár shloig an imirce mé. Sna garbhchríocha i measc na cosmhuintire atá mo shaol caite agam. Pobal misniúil nach raibh acu ach ón láimh go dtí an béal ach a thug oidhreacht agus áilleacht Chois Fharraige slán ó ghlúin go glúin.
I bhfoirm sraith dánta atá iarracht déanta agam léargas beag a thabhairt ar shlí bheatha mo mhuintire. Dán in aghaidh gach bliain de mo shaol a bhí mar sprioc agam: sin seachtú is a trí ag an tráth seo, ach ar ndóigh dá bhfaighinn aois Mhathúsalach níor leor é le cur síos a dhéanamh ar gach eachtra dár bhain gol is gaire asam ó caitheadh ar an sop mé.
These poems look at the poet’s community. Joe Steve Ó Neachtain returns to his Cois Fharraige background and gives an insight into various aspects of life in the community where he has spent most of his life.
As Joe Steve says himself, ‘I was born towards the end of the war in 1942 in the small townland of An Chré Dhubh, about a quarter of a mile west of An Spidéal in Connemara. Through good luck, or maybe bad luck, I wasn’t swallowed up in the wave of emigration from the area. I’ve spent my life amongst the grassroots. A courageous community, which lived for many years from hand to mouth but carried the rich culture and heritage of Cois Fharraige safely from generation to generation.
I have tried in the format of a series of poems to give a small insight into the lifestyle of my family. My aim was to write a poem for each year of my life, that’s 73 years as I write this, but if I were to write down everything that has moved me to tears or to laughter in those years since I was first wrapped in the swaddling cloth I’d have to live as long as Methuselah.