Voice from the Cave of Gold
May 22, 2007 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Sorley MacLean Probably best known for Hallaig, MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain) was one of the finest poets of the twentieth century and has been credited with a renaissance in the literature of his native Scots Gaelic. The site has information about his life, critical writings and poetry, and some audio and video of the great man reading and talking about his work.
posted by Abiezer (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In 1988 I was traveling on the Isle of Skye in Scotland's Inner Hebrides when I saw a poster in a shop advertising an "inter-Gaelic" night at Sabhal Mór Ostaig, the Gaelic college on Skye. Scots and Irish poets, sean-nós singers and pipers from both cultures were on the bill. It sounded great, so I set out on an absolutely beautiful drive to the college. Everyone there was speaking Scots Gaelic so I felt a bit lost, but a gentleman came up to me and introduced himself. He was the president of the college, and took me for a tour of the wee campus and told me all about it.

Then he told me I was in for a treat that night, because the Scots poet who'd be reading was Sorley MacLean. I had to admit I wasn't familiar with him. "Ah, but you've heard of him now, lad ... it's never too late. You're in the right place tonight!" he said with a smile.

MacLean read his poetry that night on Gaelic and English, and the beauty of his words matched with the power of his delivery sent chillls up my spine. I bought a poster featuring a beautiful sketch of the hills of Skye and his poem "Air Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh" is Gaelic and Englsh (which hangs on my office wall above me still).

It was a truly magical night, and the event at Sabhal Mór was only the beginning. :)
posted by chuq at 11:48 AM on May 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I love Somhairle MacGill-Eain—I've had his Reothairt is contraigh: taghadh de dhàin, 1932-72 for thirty years or so. Wonderful poet. Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2007

He is a wonderful poet, have been to the site before but thanks for bringing it up here.
posted by brautigan at 11:28 PM on May 22, 2007

Great post. Thanks!
posted by homunculus at 9:40 PM on May 23, 2007

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