I wrote a forest…

Is crann darach mé

One morning last October, after I’d finished reading Finding the Mother Tree, by Dr Suzanne Simard (the scientist who discovered the so-called “wood wide web”, or how trees communicate with each other through their roots), I woke up with an Irish phrase floating in my mind.

Is crann darach mé

“I am an oak tree”

A few days prior, while exploring the theme of Roots for the second session of Scoil Scairte, our guide Timmy Creed invited us to write something similar to the Song of Amergin – the first poem ever written in the Irish language, by which Amergin sand Ireland into being. 

Timmy also mentioned the Irish Tree alphabet. Inspired by the Ogham alphabet, artist and activist Katie Holten drew one native Irish tree for every letter. D is for dar, “oak”.

Downloading the Irish Trees font from treealphabet.ie, I started typing those words on my laptop, Is crann darach mé. Tree after tree sprouted on my screen.

I was writing a forest.

The rest of the poem seemed to come out of nowhere. I wrote a forest – a vision for Ireland to become again the land of the Gaels, or “forest people”.



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