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Collected Poems

Sorley MacLean

Edited by Christopher Whyte and Emma Dymock

Collected Poems by Sorley Maclean
RRP: GBP 22.50
Available from: Amazon LogoBuy now from Amazon
eBook (Kindle)
ISBN: 978 1 847778 84 0
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2011
304 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB)
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain 1911–1996) is generally recognised as the most significant writer in Scottish Gaelic of the twentieth century. Yet his work possesses a relevance extending far beyond the bounds of his nation or his language. His 1943 collection Dàin do Eimhir (Poems to Eimhir) brought Gaelic poetry abreast of the modern world with breathtaking and notorious effectiveness. The love sequence at its core shows a young man battling with the conflicting claims of love and duty against the background of a continent hurtling unstoppably into all-out war. His political poem 'An Cuilithionn' ('The Cuillin') links the tragedy of the Highland Clearances with a tradition of left-wing radicalism which had the French and Bolshevik revolutions as its highpoints.

    His work was characterised by a mixture of reticence and outspokenness. The love sequence could not be published in its entirety while he was alive, and An Cuilithionn waited half a century before finally appearing in an abridged and shortened form.

    This definitive edition brings together everything published during the poet’s life time and the love sequence in its fullest form, along with extracts from the 1939 manuscript of An Cuilithionn and a generous selection of unpublished poems. MacLean’s own English versions are complemented, where necessary, by versions from the editors. A section of notes highlights historical and traditional references, and two maps and a glossary of place-names are provided.
    Sorley MacLean
    Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain) was born on the island of Raasay in 1911. In his family Gaeli traditions, especially of song, survived. He took a first-class degree in English at Edinburgh. He served in North Africa in World War II and was wounded three times. He was instrumental in preserving the ... read more
    Christopher Whyte
    Christopher Whyte is probably the greatest living expert on MacLean’s poetry. His annotated editions of the Dàin do Eimhir and An Cuilithionn 1939 contained a significant quantity of hitherto unpublished material and have been met with acclaim. He is himself a Gaelic poet of substance whose fifth collection, An Daolag Shìonach ... read more
    Emma Dymock
    Emma Dymock gained a First Class Honours in Celtic at the University of Edinburgh in 2003, and has since completed an MSc on symbolism in twentieth-century Gaelic poetry and a PhD on themes of politics and concepts of the self in Sorley MacLean’s An Cuilithionn . She is currently a Post-Doctoral ... read more
    Praise for Sorley MacLean 'Here at last is a key to some of the most fiercely impassioned poetry of this century.'
    The Times
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