Sorley MacLean / Somhairle MacGill-Eain
(born 26 October 1911 - died 24 November 1996) - Isle of Skye
Sorley Maclean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain) is reckoned to be one of the finest poets Scotland has had. That he was not better known beyond his native land is probably due to the fact that he wrote almost exclusively in Gaelic, though bilingual editions of his poetry, published since the 1970s, have widened his appeal.
Born on the island of Raasay in 1911, Maclean came from a family steeped in Gaelic culture. He fought in World War Two in North Africa before becoming a teacher in Mull, Edinburgh and Plockton, and continued in that career until his retirement.
The publication of his first book of poetry, 17 Poems for 6d, with the poet, Robert Garioch, marked his entry into the world of Scottish letters. Three years later, a collection of love poems called Dàin do Eimhir agus Dain Eile (Poems to Eimhir) appeared; it remains one of the key texts of 20th-century Scottish poetry. Maclean's output, unlike some other of the poets of his generation, was not prolific but his books and poems have become iconic. The best known, the elegiac 'Hallaig', is a moving poem on the Clearances. (For those interested in hearing Maclean read from one of his poems, and he had a very distinctive voice and diction, the folk group, Capercaillie, have recorded a version of 'Calvary' on an album by their lead singer, Karen Matheson.)
He died in 1996 at the age of 85 and is buried in Skye, south of Portree.
- Add to BasketAn Cuilithionn 1939: The Cuillin 1939 And Unpublished Poems - Paperback
The work of Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean), one of the greatest poets of the 20th century, has a significance which echoes far beyond the confines of his time, his country and his language. This text contains 45 previously unpublished poems as well as his extended political poem 'An Cuilithionn'.
- Add to BasketDàin Do Eimhir - Paperback
Written mostly during the 1930s, this collection contains 48 love poems addressing a universal 'eimhir', or woman. At the heart of the poems is a sense of lamentation for lost love and opportunity yet they are also sharply political.
- Add to BasketRis A' Bhruthaich: Criticism And Prose Writings - Paperback
This book contains over 40 years of criticism, the changes and development in Gaelic scholarship during that period bringing fresh perceptions and interpretations. The essays vary in subject matter, from the folk songs of the 17th century to the parallels between the instigators of the Clearances and the fascists of Germany.
- Add to BasketSomhairle: Dàin Is Deilbh - Paperback
Published to celebrate the acclaimed author's 80th birthday, this is a collection of poetry, essays and photographs by leading authors and photographers.
- 17 Poems for 6d with Robert Garioch - 1940
- Dàin Do Eimhir (Poems for Eimhir) - 1943
- ReoThairt is Contraigh (Spring Tide and Neap Tide) - 1977
- Ris a'Bhruthaich - 1985
- Poems 1932-1982 - 1987
- From Wood To Ridge / O Choille gu Bearradh - 1989
- Add to BasketThe Poetry Of Sorley MacLean
- Paperback - ASLS
Along with his contemporaries Edward Morgan and Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean is recognised as one of the most important Scottish poets of the 20th century. This book offers a detailed study of MacLean's poems, providing insight into the context of his work.