Gabriel Rosenstock. Poems in English and Irish about war in Ukraine


Gabriel Rosenstock — poet, tankaist, haikuist, novelist, essayist, playwright, author-translator of over 180 books, mostly in Irish (Gaelic).



Gabriel Rosenstock — poet, tankaist, haikuist, novelist, essayist, playwright, author/translator of over 180 books, mostly in Irish (Gaelic).

Gabriel Rosenstock was born in 1989 in Kilifane, Co. Limerick, Ireland of an Irish mother and a German father. He now lives in Dublin.

Rosenstock is one of the foremost poets in Ireland in both English and Irish. He also writes haikus and he works as translator and as assistant editor for an Irish-language publishing house. He writes primarily in Irish and is the author or translator into Irish of over one hundred books. He is member of several literary societies and organisations, such as the Innti group and Aosdána.

Rosenstock also writes and translates both poetry and prose for children, is a recipient of the Judges’ Award, Irish Book Awards, and has recorded his translations for Walker Éireann on Soundcloud.

He has brought out Irish-language versions and translations of among others, Francisco X. Alarcón, Seamus Heaney, Rabindranath Tagore, Günter Grass, W M Roggeman, Said, Zhāng Ye, Michele Ranchetti, Michael Augustin, Peter Huchel, Georg Trakl, Georg Heym, Hansjörg Schertenleib, Hilde Domin, Johann P. Tammen, Munir Niazi, Ko Un, Günter Kunert, Iqbal, Michael Krüger, Kristiina Ehin, Nikola Madzirov, Agnar Artúvertin, Walter Helmut Fritz, K. Satchidanandan, Elke Schmitter, and Matthias Politycki as well as Irish-language versions of classical haiku and modern haiku by amongst others John W. Sexton (Ireland), J W Hackett (USA), Andres Ehin (Estonia), Petar Tchouhov (Bulgaria), Janak Sapkota (Nepal) and Taras Shevchenko (Ukraine).






War in Ukraine 2022. Photos by Maxim Dondyuk.

War in Ukraine 2022. Photo by Maxim Dondyuk.



Gabriel Rosenstock presents a bilingual haiku in English and Irish about war in Ukraine 2022.



Gabriel Rosenstock


is there a graveyard

big enough for them all?

burnt buses of  Kyiv


an bhfuil reilig ann

atá sách mór dóibh?

busanna dóite Chív





Odesa, asleep, 

in a ripple of old dreams 

nothing to be heard 

the creaking of ships at times 
muffled sounds best forgotten 


Odesa fà shuan 

cuilithìn na mbrionglòidì

nìl faic le cloisint 

  ach gìoscàn na seanbhàd 

  is nithe is ceart ’dhearùd





to those in trouble 

keep your head above water 

do not be disturbed 

  hatred cannot sully you 

       it will eat into itself 


dòibh siùd i gcruachàs 

fanaigì os cionn uisce 

nà bìodh buairt oraibh 

  nì shalòidh fuath sibh 

  fòrsa fèinscriosach è fuath





parts of us can die 

eyes can die, naturally 

and the heart, of course 

eyes that have seen far too much 

enough to last many lives 


faigheann cuid dнnn bàs mall 

d’fèadfadh na sùile bheith ann 

nò an croì, ar ndòigh 

sùile is barraiocht feicthe acu 

nìos mò nà seacht ndòthain 





one day we’ll wake up 

see things as they really are 

when will that day come 

all of mankind waking up 

seeing itself as it is? 


dùiseoimid gan mhoill 

aithneoimid cùrsaì mar ’tà 

ach cathain – cathain 

cathain a dhùiseoidh càch 

sinn fèin a aithint go cruinn?





the millions of dolls 

stolen from little children – 


  lost, blown up or dismembered . . . 
        war! what a sorry business  



a liacht sin bàbòg

a tògadh ò na leanaì –

a gceann bainte dìobh

  basctha brùte, nò ar strae . . .

cogadh! nach lofa an gnò è







Painting by Heorhiy Narbut. Fairy Tales (1910)."what to tell children 
what fairy tales to recite 
what songs to sing them 
what lullabies when the wind 
growls like a bear in the night?"

(Gabriel Rosenstock)





Sunset. Painting by Volodymyr Orlovsky  (1896).

"sun dies again 
in a crimson agony 
time repeats itself 
a thousand children are born 
in blood each day in Ukraine"

(Gabriel Rosenstock)





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