Gabriel Rosenstock is one of the finest and most prolific poets of our time and has been a notable force in Irish writing since he first put pen to paper. He is one of the INNTI generation of poets who revolutionized the world of poetry in Irish, and he counts among his peers Michael Davitt, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Liam Ó Muirthile. The 54 poems in this book provide an overview of Rosenstock's work over the last 25 years, and the English translations by fellow poet Paddy Bushe make the poetry accessible to a whole new audience.
In the foreword by Robert Welch he describes Rosenstock's poetry as world poetry. He writes; ‘Observation here, as Samuel Johnson said, has an ‘extensive view' and ‘surveys mankind, from China to Peru''. With a list of poem titles that includes
An Búda / The Buddha, Zenmhachnamh le haill / Zen meditation at a cliff, Mustanbih / Mustanbih, Selbstporträt / Self-portrait and Billie Holiday /Billie Holiday, Rosenstock's world view is very evident. With an emphasis on themes of universal importance, this collection is testament to Rosenstock's status as one of the most insightful poets of our time.
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About the Author
Rosenstock worked for some time on the television series 'Anois is Arís’ on RTÉ, then on the weekly newspaper Anois. He spent much of his life working for An Gúm and when he wasn’t promoted he retired in order to write fulltime. He was the Chairman of Poetry Ireland / Éigse Éireann and has won many literary prizes: among them bursaries from the Arts Council and the Irish-American Cultural Foundation Award. He has a central role in the literature festival IMRAM.
While he has produced prose, drama, children’s verse and translation it as a poet he is best known. He was the first of the INNTI generation to publish a book, a work which was fresh and hugely influential at the time, Suzanne sa seomra folctha (Clódhanna Teo, 1973). A selection of his work appeared under the title Rogha Rosenstock (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1994) and an accompanying cassette was published with that collection in the series ‘Guth an Ealaíontóra’. A more comprehensive selection was made available under the title Oráistí (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1991). He has also produced work in English including Haiku Enlightenment and Haiku, the Gentle Art of Disappearing from Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2009).
In 1993 after the publication of his collection Ní mian léi an fhilíocht níos mó (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1993) Rosenstock announced a plan to forsake poetry until the turn of the century and experiment with other genres. He was already highly regarded as a translator. He translated a selection of the work of Peter Huchel from German in An Spealadóir Polannach (Comhar, 1994) and the still popular A treasury of Irish love (Hippocrene, 1998) which translated much of and also edited. His travel book Ólann mo mhiúil as an nGainséis (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 2003) provides an insight into the beliefs, intellectual life, philosophy and humanity of this exceptional poet.
A member of Aosdána, some of his most recent works are Guthanna Beannaithe an Domhain (Coiscéim, 2008), his selection of haiku, Géaga Trí Thine (Comhar, 2005), and Tuairiscíonn Krishnamurphy ó Bagdhad (Coiscéim, 2007). He is undoubtedly one of the most prolific writers there are and his works could not alll be mentioned here. Hans-Christian Oeser faithfullly translated his poetry to German from Irish in a work highly praised in that country, Ein Archivar großer Taten: Ausgewählte Gedichte (Edition Rugerup, 2007).
The President of Pakistan awarded him the Tamgha-I-Khidmat medal in 2009.