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in its fullest form, along with extracts from the 1939 manuscript of An Cuilithionn and a generous selection of unpublished poems.
This Collected Poems of Sorley MacLean brings together published poetry from MacLean’s own edited volumes of poetry, poetry previously published in various magazines, literary journals and anthologies, and poetry which has never been published before. The poems will be given in their original Gaelic with English translations. The volume opens with a biographical summary of MacLean’s childhood on Raasay, his life at university and war experiences, and examines MacLean’s effect on Gaelic and Scottish literature, and his literary, political and philosophical influences, which included Gaelic traditional song, Romanticism and Modernism, as well as Communism and Fascism.
Sorley MacLean was born on the island of Raasay in 1911. He was brought up within a family and community immersed in Gaelic language and culture, particularly song. He studied English at Edinburgh University from 1929, taking a first-class honours degree. Despite this influence, he eventually adopted Gaelic as the medium most appropriate for his poetry. He translated much of his own work into English, opening it up to a wider public. He fought in North Africa during World War II, before taking up a career in teaching, holding posts on Mull, in Edinburgh and finally as Head Teacher at Plockton High School. Amongst other awards and honours, he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1990. He died in 1996 at the age of 85.