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Jeaic ar Scoil Poem & Notes: Summary in English

Updated: Feb 17

1. Introduction to the Poem "Jeaic ar Scoil"

As a Leaving Certificate student in Ireland, you are likely familiar with the term "Jeaic ar Scoil," which refers to the final exams that mark the end of your secondary education. But did you know that "Jeaic ar Scoil" is also the title of a well-known poem by the Irish poet Seán Ó Ríordáin?

Written in the Irish language, the poem "Jeaic ar Scoil" reflects on the emotions and experiences of students preparing for their final exams. Through its vivid imagery and powerful language, the poem captures the stress, anxiety, and hope that often accompany this significant moment in a student's life.

2. English Summary/Translation of the Poem "Jeaic ar Scoil"

Verse 1

Glan díot gaineamh na trá

Clean away the sand of the beach

Is oscail an doras don fhómhar,

And open the door to autumn.

Bronn ort féin éide

Put on your uniform

Go bpriocfaidh sceacha na léine

And the shirt that will peck.

Do mhuineál óg beag

At your small young neck

Is go dtógfar ón mbosca na bróga

And take out the shoes from the box.

A mboladh leathair ina anlann agat.

Their leather smell like a sauce to you.

Tá’n tú sé mbliana d’aois.

You are six years old.

Verse 2

D’aithníos le huaibhreacht do chrógacht

I was proud when I saw your bravery

Is ag tú ag déanamh ar stad an bhus.

On your way to the bus stop

“Ná póg mé, Mam,” a dúraís,

"Don't kiss me, Mam", is what you said.

“I’ll wait by myself.”

"I'll wait by myself"

Chasas mo shála ar mo bháibín óg

I turned away from my young child

Go dtáinig fás aon oíche air

Who had grown overnight

Faoi cheobhrán brothallach na maidine.

Under the warm morning mist.

Verse 3

Is shiúlaíos isteach abhaile

And I walked in home

Go dtugfainn leathshúil fén gcuirtín

And watched from behind the curtain

Go n-imeodh sé slán

To see that he left safely

Go slogfadh an fhoghlaim é

And hoped that he'd be swallowed by learning

Le fiosracht tartmhar gan teorainn.

And that he'd have a thirsty, limitless curiosity

Tá sé sé mbliana d’aois.

He is six years old

Verse 4

Gluais leat fé cheol

On you go now

Is fé ghrá do mhuintire.

Be happy and know that you are loved by us.

Feairín beag seanchríonna

Little precious man

A chaith seal anso cheana

Who was here before

Lena shúilibh donna

With his brown eyes

Ar leathadh le hiontas

wide with wonder

As bheith beo sa tsao

At the joj of being alive.

Verse 5

Nach álainn a bheith beo

Isn't it beautiful

Sé mbliana d’aois.

To be six years old.

3. Who wrote the Poem "Jeaic ar Scoil"

Dairena Ní Chinnéide, is the a author of "Jeaic ar Scoil". Dairena Ní Chinnéide is from the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region) of Corca Dhuibhne in County Kerry. She composes poetry and writes prose, mostly in Irish. She translates her own poems into English and also translates poems by other poets into Irish. She has received many awards and honors since publishing her first poetry collection, "An Trodaí," in 2006.

She has traveled the world reading her poems at festivals in France, Norway, and throughout the United States. She has spent time as a broadcaster, a director of a television company, and an interpreter in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

4. "Explain it yourself ' / Mínigh féin é

Explain it yourself 'Jack at School' is a nice simple poem at first glance. But if you read the poem carefully, you will see that the poet has put a twist in the words there. There are many metaphors that are not at all in common speech. The poet herself freshly invented them from her own imagination.

When you are working with another student, explain what these phrases mean 1-10.


Cén fáth a gcaithfidh Jeaic ‘gaineamh na trá’ a ghlanadh de féin?

Why does Jack have to clean ‘the beach sand’ off himself?


Cén chaoi a bhféadfadh ‘sceacha’ a bheith ina léine?

How could ‘thorns’ be in his shirt?


Deirtear go bhfuil boladh an leathair úir ‘ina anlann’ ag Jeaic. Cad is ciall dó sin?

It is said that the smell of new leather is ‘a sauce’ for Jack. What does that mean?


Deir an file gur tháinig ‘fás aon oíche’ ar Jeaic ‘faoi cheobhrán brothallach na maidine.’ Cén cineál fáis atá i bhfás aon oíche? Cén fhianaise atá ann gur tháinig a leithéid d’fhás ar Jeaic?

The poet says that Jack experienced ‘growth overnight’ ‘under the sultry haze of the morning.’ What kind of growth is ‘growth overnight’? What evidence is there that such growth occurred in Jack?


Is mian leis an bhfile go ‘slogfadh an fhoghlaim’ a mac. Cad atá a rá aici?

The poet wishes that ‘learning would swallow’ her son. What is she saying?


Tá beannacht neamhghnách sa cheathrú véarsa: cad atá ann?

There is an unusual blessing in the fourth verse: what is it?


Conas is féidir le gasúr sé bliana d’aois a bheith ‘seanchríonna’?

How can a six-year-old boy be ‘old and wise’?


Chaith Jeaic ‘seal anso cheana’, dar leis an bhfile. Céard atá i gceist aici?

Jack ‘spent a while here before,’ according to the poet. What does she mean?

5. Pointí plé / Discussion Points

Pléigh na ceisteanna seo le dalta eile agus scríobh síos roinnt nótaí faoi na freagraí a aimseoidh sibh. Beidh oraibh tuairisc a thabhairt don rang ar ball

Discuss these questions with another student and write down some notes about the answers you find. You will need to report back to the class later.

1. Is minic a bhaineann filí úsáid chliste as athrá ina gcuid dánta. An bhfuil focail in ‘Jeaic ar Scoil’ a ndéantar athrá orthu? An dtéann an t-athrá sin i bhfeidhm ort, mar léitheoir, nó cén fáth a bhfuil sé ann?

1. Poets often make clever use of repetition in their poems. Are there words in ‘Jeaic ar Scoil’ that are repeated? Does this repetition affect you as a reader, or why do you think it is there?

2. Tá grá agus gean le brath go mór ar ‘Jeaic ar Scoil’ ach tá cumha le brath air freisin.” An aontaíonn tú leis an ráiteas sin? Tabhair fianaise ón dán chun tacú le do thuairim.

2. There is a strong sense of love and affection in ‘Jeaic ar Scoil’, but there is also a sense of longing or melancholy. Do you agree with this statement? Provide evidence from the poem to support your opinion.

3. Seo dán faoin gcaidreamh idir mháthair agus a mac. Ní tuismitheoir mise agus, dá bharr sin, níl mórán suime agam sa dán seo.” An aontaíonn tú leis an ráiteas sin? Mínigh cén fáth.

3. This is a poem about the relationship between a mother and her son. I am not a parent, and therefore, I am not very interested in this poem." Do you agree with this statement? Explain why.

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