Towards Alba of the Ravens

This is a poem of Columkille’s, or at least ascribed to him. It is in very irregular metre, or rather changes its metre several times. The literal translation of the first few verses is as follows:– Delightful to be on Ben Edar (the Hill of Howth) before going over the sea, white, white; the dashing […]

I Stretch My Eye Across the Brine

198. Then Columcille and his household departed from Erin, and this is the number they were: twenty bishops, two score priests, thirty deacons, and two score sons of learning that had not yet the rank of priest or deacon, as the poet, even Dallan Forgaill, hath said in this quatrain: Forty priests their number. Twenty […]

Close to My Heart

My medal of St. Columba depicts the Saint standing on a currach or coracle, a symbol of his exile over the sea from Ireland to Hy or Iona. The currach is a hide-covered wooden-framed boat. He wears the typical léine (shirt/tunic) covered with a blanket-like plaid (or brat) with hands extended in a cruciform pose. […]