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The Revolutionary Art of the Future: re-discovered poems

Hugh MacDiarmid

Edited by John Manson, Dorian Grieve and Alan Riach

Cover Picture of The Revolutionary Art of the Future: re-discovered poems
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 857547 33 7
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2003
216 x 135 x 9 mm
128 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Ah, this is my ambition indeed:
    To rise up among the insipid, unsalted, rabbity, endlessly hoping people
    And sing a great song of our Alba bheaddarrach
    An exuberant, fustigating, truculent, polysyllabic
    Generous, eccentric, and incomparably learned song
    And so bring fresh laurels to deck the brows
    Of Alba bheadarrach is Alba-nuadhaichte, ath-leasaichte, is ath-bheothaichte.

    'My Ambition'
    The Revolutionary Art of the Future is a selection from three hundred poems by Hugh MacDiarmid discovered by John Manson in the archives of the National Library of Scotland in 2003. This is the first time many of them have appeared in print.

    The range of subjects and moods is extraordinary: poems in Scots and English, provocative poems on sexuality and marriage, satires on the hypocrisy of the Church and bourgeois complacency, comic squibs and powerful indictments of the brutality of imperialism and its consequences in war. MacDiarmid celebrates the power of derisive laughter and the poetic imagination to combat ignorance, prejudice and stupidity. Twenty-five years after his death, MacDiarmid's is still a truly dissenting voice, as shocking and necessary as ever.
    Hugh MacDiarmid
    Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve) was born in 1892 at Langholm in the Scottish Borders. After training as a teacher, he worked as a journalist, before serving in France and Greece during the First World War. Returning to Scotland, he worked as a journalist, and in 1922 began to publish poems ... read more
    John Manson
    John Manson is a retired schoolteacher, poet and translator, co- editor on the first Penguin edition of MacDiarmid's Selected Poems (1970). ... read more
    Alan Riach
    Alan Riach is a poet, teacher and critic, and the general editor of Carcanet’s Collected Works of Hugh MacDiarmid . ... read more
    Praise for Hugh MacDiarmid 'Watch him, an angel's set his tongue on fire.'
    Norman MacCaig
    'Lord God, this fellow is a poet, singing a song even when pain seizes him, or the woe of the world murmurs in his heart'
    Sean O'Casey
    'Every door in any town should be wide open to that great lyric poet Hugh MacDiarmid.'
    Dylan Thomas
    'These great people like MacDiarmid are a bit scary, '
    Liz Lochhead
    'Riach has done Scottish literature a great service in masterminding the Carcanet edition of the works of Hugh MacDiarmid...'
    Times Literary Supplement
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