Thursday Poem

The Adventure of Conlae

Two tales slice the heart: The Adventure of Conlae and Joyce’s ‘Eveline’.

Take Eveline first, sitting by her window, moored to the street
by her childhood memories.

A young sailor offers her a way out but she’s caught in two minds.

Eveline? She won’t budge.

But don’t let her story fool you: it’s not a daughter’s duty tethering her
so much as the lure of what’s familiar.

Eveline and Conlae are twin tales (a lover, a boat and a chance of escape),
only in this case — the youth gives up.

You can’t but wonder how they fared, Conlae and his temptress,
from the moment they first set sail in her crystal boat.

by Aifric Mac Aodha
from Gabháil Syrinx
publisher: An Sagart, Dublin, 2010
translation: 2011, Aifric Mac Aodha