Monday, 03 July 2023 08:00

Refugees: Who Are You?

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in Poetry
Refugees: Who Are You?

 Who Are You?

by Gabriel Rosenstock

ná bíodh sceon oraibh
le bhur dtoil, cé sibh féinig
cad as daoibh, a chlann?
beidh sibh sábháilte anseo
tá tearmann uainn go léir

do not be afraid
tell us, kindly, who you are
where have you come from?
you will come to no harm here
we all seek refuge on earth

Who Are You? is a bilingual tanka in Irish and English (5-7-5-7-7 syllables) in response to Refugiés (c.1918) by Théophile Steinlen (above). Steinlen was a Swiss artist who illustrated material for socialist and anarchist publications. His anti-war images are particularly memorable.

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Gabriel Rosenstock

Gabriel Rosenstock was born in postcolonial Ireland and is a poet, haikuist, tankaist, translator, playwright, novelist, short story writer and essayist.