Saturday, 1 December 2007

scottish poetry for christmas

given the season and as i've been talking about such things recently what might i recommend for someone who fancied some scottish poetry to settle down with over the festive season? have browsed the shelves and here's a short list from the swiss shelves, not all of which i can guarantee is till in print but hopefully it is...

The Triumph Tree:Scotland earliest poetry 550-1350. should still be out on canongate. great book, and in languages that aren't gaelic!
still if gaelic's your thing you could do a lot worse than

An Leabhar Mor The great book of gaelic, which is just lovely

while it doesn't have the artwork of the above meg bateman's collection of scottish religious poetry is a nice companion piece the the triumph tree and easily offsets the stereotypical image of scottish protestants as frigid calvinist types, even if they do seem to want to cling to it these days (did i live on the islands, er, well yes i did)

for a more up to date collection check out an tuil : anthology of 20th century gaelic poetry. again lovely and available in both the uk and the usa

all of the above are bilingual versions should you want to do that to your tongue

in english my first stop would be douglas dunn's twentieth century scottish poetry which is a fine overview
then i'd be having norman maccaig's collected poems, the hardback, which comes with a rather lovely spoken word cd. unsure if this is still available so if not and you fancy it get in touch and we can come to an arrangement

anything by meg bateman not least because everyone should be able to use the word aotromachd

anything, except her poetry for childen, by carol ann duffy. my current favourite remains he world's wife

pretty much anything by aonghas macneacail who'd i'd go as far as to say is one of our best poets in gaelic or english but, in typically scottish fashion,has books out of print!

that should about do it. and you never know, if you're profligate in your buying you might even stumble across me!

3 comments:

Sorlil said...

Yes, I love 'The World's Wife', what a great collection. I wonder why you missed out Kathleen Jamie?!

swiss said...

because if i'd included everyone i could have the list would be as long as the page! lol

Sorlil said...

fair enough!