The first poem ever composed in Ireland?


According to John O’Donahue, this is traditionally believed to be the first poem ever composed in Ireland. Instead of Descartes’s “cogito ergo sum,” I think therefore I am, it is I am because everything else is –The Celtic sense of the complexity of the individual..

Attributed to  Amairgen [Amergin] * , chief poet of the Milesans, on setting foot on the land of Ireland. 1500 B.C.E

I am the wind which breathes upon the sea,

I am the wave of the ocean,

Go to fullsize imageI am the murmur of the billows,

I am the ox of the seven combats,

I am the vulture upon the rocks,

I am a beam of the sun,

I am the fairest of plants.

I am the wild boar in valor,

I am the salmon in the water,

I am a lake in the plain,

I am a world of knowledge,

I am the point of the lance of battle,

I am the God who created the fire in the head.


*  Amergin Glúingel (“white knees”) or Glúnmar (“big knee”) was a druid, bard and judge for the Milesians in the Irish Mythological Cycle. He was appointed Chief Ollam of Ireland by his two brothers the kings of Ireland. A number of poems attributed to Amergin are part of the Milesian mythology.

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One Response

  1. Very interesting, thanks Carolyn.

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