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Susannes Folksong-Notizen English Notes
Quo' the Idealist
- (Adam McNaughtan)
On Monday, I talked tae a boy who'd never heard of a peerie
But he rushed away hame in his Star Trek suit
Wi' his laser gun that could really shoot
And he shouted, I'm sorry, I cannae wait
Top of the Pops is on at eight
Have peeries been on the telly?
On Tuesday, I talked tae a wife who'd never heard of John MacLean
But she guessed he'd once played for the Rangers team
She didnae care he'd died for a dream
As long as her and her man were fed
An' the wean was safe in his wee warm bed
On Wednesday, I talked to a man who'd never heard of McDiarmid
Poetry was something you got in school
Like 'I before E' and the dozens rule
If he was a poet, we never got him
We got 'Tae a Moose' and 'The Ode to Autumn'
Did he write one o' them?
So on Thursday, I just talked to myself
(as spoken by Iain MacKintosh)
Tune - none, spoken
Quo' - quoth (said, thus spoke)
[1988:] Hugh MacDiarmid - Pseudonym of the Scottish poet and critic Christopher Murray Grieve (1892-1978). Born in Langholm in the Scottish Borders, he attended Langholm Academy and trained as a teacher in Edinburgh before becoming a journalist in 1912. [In] 1922-23 [he] began to publish poems in Scots and thereafter, as Hugh MacDiarmid, became the central figure of the 20th-century Scottish renaissance. A Communist and nationalist, he became a founder-member of the Scottish National Party in 1928 and was involved in political controversy throughout his life. He was expelled from both the SNP and the Communist Party during the 1930s and rejoined the Communist Party in 1956 after the Hungarian uprising. [...] in 1933-42 [he and his second wife] lived through a period of troubled but in many ways productive 'exile' on Whalsay in the Shetlands. In 1950 he received a Civil List pension and in 1951 he finally settled at Brownsbank, near Biggar.
From the early 1960s he began to enjoy growing recognition as a major modern poet. In the last two decades of his life he received many literary honours and travelled extensively throughout Europe and to North America and China. [...] A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle (1926) [is] regarded by many as his masterpiece and certainly the most important single poem in 20th-century Scottish literature. He continued to extend the use of Scots throughout the 1920s and 1930s [...]. By the mid 1930s, however, his desire to create a modern epic led him to experiment with what he called 'synthetic English', a poetic idiom created from a variety of esoteric vocabularies and scientific terminologies, particularly geology and modern linguistics. 'On a Raised Beach' (in Stony Limits, 1934) is his most impressive achievement in this mode, but he continued the experiment in two major works, In Memoriam James Joyce (1954) and The Kind of Poetry I Want (1961). [...] He was a notable translator of Scottish Gaelic and modern European poetry, and edited several literary magazines and poetry anthologies. He also wrote short stories, critical and political essays and the prose autobiography Lucky Poet: A Self-Study in Literature and Political Ideas (1943, reissued 1972). The Letters of Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Alan Bold, appeared in 1984. (Ian Ousby, The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English 616f.)
Tae a Moose, Ode To Autumn - poems by Robert Burns (see notes Now Westlin' Winds)
Notes on John MacLean see John MacLean's March
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