Celia de Fréine

Celia de Fréine

Celia de Fréine is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist who writes in Irish and English.

She has published six collections of poetry, most recently cuir amach seo dom : riddle me this: (Arlen House, 2014). Awards for her poetry include the Patrick Kavanagh Award (1994), Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnachta (2004) and the British Comparative Literature Association Translation Award (1999).

She has four times won the Oireachtas Award for best full length play and has had many plays produced in both Irish and English. Her screenplays received awards at the New York International Film Festival in 2009 and 2010.

Celia divides her time between Dublin and Connemara.

Please visit Celia de Fréine’s website: www.celiadefreine.com



For Celia Óg

I might not have realised that Sunday
was the date on which night equalled day
had I not heard it mentioned.

Not a day that heralds a change in season,
or a night when spirits call,
but a balance between one order and the other:

a time I can hear the sea
when dream-enfolded
because your heart is beating

on a tiny photo,
making the future certain
as the short evenings that lie ahead,

fresh as the scent of wild mint,
solid as that bridge
built by the Romans.


A new dream wanted to caress her:
it knocked on the window,
its scent sang a lullaby
but still she slept.

When the cat crept into the house
it followed, squeezing
through the keyhole to her room,

its images folding to origami,
its fragrance pealing
from an out-of-tune bell,

and still she slept
in the cocoon of memory,
the feel of his hand on her cheek:

his scent on her pillow,
his words in her ear fending off all dreams,
all aspiration:

the feel, the scent, the words:
all she needed
to pass the night.


Written and set in La Balestra, Sardinia, both of these poems are translated from the Irish and are published in the collection ‘Aibítir Aoise : Alphabet of an Age (Arlen House 2011)

All poems on this post: © Celia de Fréine
Published with the permission of Celia de Fréine


The people’s poet in more ways than one, Tasos Livaditis stands apart from other poets of his era because of his deep understanding, his heart rendering existential agony, initially expressed ...

An amazing poem by the Greek poet Tasos Livaditis – beautifully and very strong recited by the actor Kostas Kazakos as to raise awareness to people for peace and justice! More ...

Listen to Charles Bryant’s wonderful reading of Pietros Maneos’ poem: An Old Man On The Isle on YouTube. “Music to my ears” says an editor obsessed with the Mediterranean world! For ...

#Unexpectedly is a video poem by Lily Michaelides (poet), Olivios Karaolides (music/sound editing) and Demetra Englezou (director/motion design). For the last two years Cyprus has been at the epicentre of ...

Adrianne Kalfopoulou, Associate Professor of Language and Literature at Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece will have a new book: Ruin: Essays in Exilic Living released by Red Hen ...


Recent Contributors

Petros Lygizos was born in Athens in 1966 and lives in Nafplion today. He is a teacher of Ancient and Modern Greek Literature and writes poetry and novels. Many poetic ...

Anne Tammel is the author of the collection of poems, Endless: a Literate Passion (Aldrich Press, 2015). Tammel’s works have appeared most recently in Poydras Review, Annapurna Magazine, Saint Julian ...

Sheikha A. (b. 1982) currently lives in Pakistan. She has authored a short poetry collection Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013). Her work has appeared in Red Fez, American ...

Ali Znaidi (b. 1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002 from the University of Sfax for the South, ...

Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet and author. He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Master’s for the Arts ...