History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogeneous, empty time, but time filled by the presence of the now'. Walter Benjamin, Illuminations. (1) To make a case for history in Eilean Ni Chuilleanain's poetry, a case must first be made for the contemporary. The collapsed distance between past and present is part of her writing's enduring difficulty. It is also a source of its power, the refusal to separate history from the now, as Benjamin puts it, is symbolic of a determination to rethread the past's strands, the effect to leave the tapestry unfinished, the manuscript in draft. This seems paradoxical given the compositional care of Ni Chuilleanain's poetry, the learned, at times esoteric, range of its allusions, and the complexity of its vocabulary (what Ni Chuilleanain herself calls 'very precise, innovative, difficult work'). (2) I want to read the figuration of history in her work as a multiplicity that registers frequently as a sensation of mystery. In this subtle choreography of past and present, Ni Chuilleanain sidesteps the arrangement of memory into definite forms, or what we more typically think of as history, that harmony of discordant dates that allows for representable translation between the private and public spheres. As a Renaissance scholar, trained in the trade of manuscripts, alert to the errata of the changing text, Ni Chuilleanain seems acutely aware of history's limits. Her poetry acts as an incantation to voices from the margin; her words are much like a scribe's asides, her commentary oblique, personal, mysterious.