Sorley MacLean

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Sorley MacLean
MacLean at Braes, Skye in 1986
MacLean at Braes, Skye in 1986
Native name Somhairle MacGill-Eain[a]
Born (1911-10-26)26 October 1911
Òsgaig, Raasay, Scotland
Died 24 November 1996(1996-11-24) (aged 85)
Inverness, Scotland
Resting place Stronuirinish Cemetery, Portree
Occupation Schoolteacher
Language Scottish Gaelic
Education Raasay Primary School
Portree Secondary School
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Genre Gaelic poetry
Notable works
Dàin do Eimhir
Notable awards
Years active 1932–c. 1980
Spouse Renee Cameron (m. 1946)
Children Three daughters
Website (Gaelic) (English)

Sorley MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Somhairle MacGill-Eain;[a] 26 October 1911 – 24 November 1996) was a Scottish Gaelic poet, described by the Scottish Poetry Library as "one of the major Scottish poets of the modern era" because of his "mastery of his chosen medium and his engagement with the European poetic tradition and European politics".[2]

He was raised in a strict Presbyterian family on the island of Raasay, immersed in Gaelic culture and literature from birth, but abandoned religion for socialism. In his poetry, MacLean juxtaposed traditional Gaelic elements with mainstream European icons and current events. He is credited with reinvigorating and modernizing the Gaelic language. Although he is best known for the poems in Dàin do Eimhir, published in 1943, he did not become well-known outside the Gaelic-speaking world until the 1970s, when his works were published in English translation. His later poem Hallaig, published 1954, achieved "cult status"[3]:134 for its supernatural representation of a village depopulated in the Highland Clearances and came to represent all Scottish Gaelic poetry in the English-speaking imagination.


Early life

Sorley MacLean was born at Òsgaig on the island of Raasay on 26 October 1911; Scottish Gaelic was his first language. He was the second of five sons born to Malcolm (1880–1951) and Christina MacLean (1886–1974). His brothers were John Maclean (1910–1970), a schoolteacher and later rector of Oban High School; Calum Maclean (1915–1960), a noted folklorist and ethnographer; and Alasdair (1918–1999) and Norman (c.1917–c.1980), who became general practitioners. MacLean's two younger sisters, Isobel and Mary, were also schoolteachers.[4][5][6]

A cliff on Raasay
A sign requests that the playground not be used on Sunday.

At home, he was steeped in Gaelic culture and beul-aithris (the oral tradition), especially old songs. His mother, a Nicolson, had been raised near Portree, although her family was of Lochalsh origin;[2][7][8] his father had been raised on Raasay, but his family was originally from North Uist and, before that, Mull.[4][6] The family worked a small croft and his father also ran a tailoring business.[9]:16 Both sides of the family contained individuals who were considered accomplished by their communities, whether through formal education or extensive knowledge of the oral tradition. Of especial note was MacLean's paternal grandmother, Mary Matheson, whose family had been evicted from the mainland in the 18th century as part of the Highland Clearances. Until her death in 1923, she lived with the family and taught MacLean many traditional songs from Kintail and Lochalsh.[4] As a child, MacLean enjoyed fishing trips with his aunt Peigi, who taught him other songs.[6] Unlike other members of his family, MacLean could not sing, a fact that he connected with his impetus to write poetry.[9]:17[10]

MacLean was raised in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which he described as "the strictest of Calvinist fundamentalism".[11] In the Free Presbyterian Church, less than 5% of the congregation took communion; the remainder were considered mere "adherents" who were probably destined for eternal torment in hell. The religion prohibited any form of amusement on the Sabbath, but included a rich tradition of unaccompanied psalm singing.[9]:17[12]:8 MacLean abandoned religion for socialism at the age of twelve, although he was never a member of the Communist Party.[9]:17 Nevertheless, the pessimism of the Calvinist tradition had a strong impact on his worldview.[7][9]:32 Later in life, he had a complicated view of the church and religion. Although he criticized how church teachings negatively affected some social groups, especially women, Professor Donald Meek (gd) pointed out that at times MacLean seemed to articulate the ideas of liberation theology.[7] MacLean defended the Free Presbyterian Church against opponents who had little familiarity with it.[9]:17[13] He also admired the literary sophistication and creativity of Protestant sermons in Gaelic, which enriched his own idiom.[1]:216-217[9]:17

He was educated at Raasay Primary School and Portree Secondary School.[4][7] In 1929, he left home to attend the University of Edinburgh.[7] For economic reasons, he chose to study English instead of Celtic,[b]and did not pursue graduate school.[9]:16[6] He disliked the head of the English department, Herbert Grierson, who favoured different poets than MacLean preferred, MacLean felt that Grierson imposed his aesthetic preferences on the department. MacLean's academic work has been described as merely "dutiful".[15]:2 While at Edinburgh, MacLean also took classes in the Celtic department, then under William J. Watson.[6] He was involved in left-wing politics, literary circles, and the university shinty team.[8][14] According to Celtic scholar Emma Dymock, MacLean's education at Edinburgh broadened his horizons and the city itself was significant in his life.[8] While in Edinburgh, he observed urban poverty, slums, and overcrowding, especially severe due to the Great Depression.[12]:9 After his graduation in 1933 with a first-class degree, he remained in Edinburgh and spent a year at Moray House Teachers' Training College, where he met Hugh MacDiarmid.[14]


Ruins of a stone house on Mull

In 1934, he returned to Skye to teach English at Portree High School.[7][8] After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, he considered volunteering to fight in the International Brigades; according to his daughter, he would have gone if not for family responsibilities.[7] At the time, his mother was seriously ill and his father's business was failing.[16] In January 1938, MacLean accepted a teaching position at Tobermory High School on Mull, where he stayed until December.[16][17]:145 The year he spent on Mull had a profound effect on him, because Mull was still devastated from nineteenth-century clearances in which many MacLeans had been evicted.[3]:125-6[17]:145 MacLean later said, "I believe Mull had much to do with my poetry: its physical beauty, so different from Skye’s, with the terrible imprint of the clearances on it, made it almost intolerable for a Gael." He believed that fascism was likely to emerge victorious in Europe, and was further dismayed by the continuing decline of the Gaelic language.[16]

Between 1939 and 1941, he taught at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh, and in Hawick.[7][8] During this period, he wrote most of the poetry that would become Dàin do Eimhir, including the epic An Cuilthionn. MacLean cultivated friendships with Scottish Renaissance poets, including MacDiarmid, Robert Garioch, Douglas Young, and George Campbell Hay.[15]:4 MacLean, also a noted historian, published two influential papers on nineteenth-century Gaelic poetry in Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness (gd) in 1938 and 1939, which challenged the Celtic Twilight view of Gaelic literature. MacLean accused the "Celtic Twilightists" with "attributing to Gaelic poetry the very opposite of every quality which it actually has", at which they only succeeded because they catered to a credulous English-speaking audience. He pointed out that the apparent sentimentality or impotence of the corpus of Clearance poetry may have been an artifact of the fact that landlords would not have preserved poetry critical of them.[18]:124-6 His use of Gaelic poetry as a potential source material for historical studies was extremely innovative at the time.[18]:122-3

World War II

A mine explodes during the Second Battle of El Alamein

Upon the outbreak of war in 1939, MacLean wanted to volunteer for the Cameron Highlanders but was prevented due to the shortage of teachers.[7] He was drafted into the Royal Corps of Signals in September 1940 and was sent overseas to North Africa in December 1941.[16][17]:146 In the North African Campaign, he served with the Royal Horse Artillery[c] and was wounded on three occasions, but on the first two not severely enough to be classified as a casualty.[8][12]:5 His military career ended in November 1942 during the Second Battle of El Alamein, when he was at a command post when a land mine exploded nearby, throwing MacLean thirty feet through the air. He was wounded in the leg and broke several bones in his feet.[9][12]:5 He spent the following nine months in hospital.[17]:146 MacLean wrote a few poems about the war in which he challenged the traditional Gaelic exaltation of heroism, exemplified by the lament for Alasdair of Glengarry; he viewed physical courage as morally neutral, since it could benefit Nazis as well as the British.[9]:29

MacLean returned to Britain for convalescence in March 1943 and was discharged from the army in September.[16] He resumed teaching at Boroughmuir, where he met Renee Cameron in 1944.[d] They married on 24 July 1946 in Inverness and had three daughters and six grandchildren. According to friends, their marriage was happy and peaceful, as they complemented each other well.[19][20] During this period, he continued to make friends in literary circles, and frequently reviewed poetry. In 1947 he was promoted to Principal Teacher of English at Boroughmuir, but MacLean wanted to return to the western Highlands.[20]

Later life

In 1956, MacLean was offered the position of headmaster of Plockton High School in Wester Ross, not far from where his paternal grandmother's family had lived. It was a difficult assignment as the remote location was not attractive to teacher candidates, and MacLean frequently had to teach himself due to vacancies.[21] While at Plockton, he promoted the use of Scottish Gaelic in formal education and campaigned for a Highers exam for learners of Gaelic.[3]:127 In 1966, he presented a paper to the Gaelic Society outlining the practical issues in Gaelic education. MacLean pointed out that in continental Europe, it was not uncommon to study three or four languages in school. According to MacLean, Scottish children would benefit from studying three languages in school alongside English, and "surely it is not expecting too much of Gaelic patriotism to demand that Gaelic should be one of the three?"[21][e] He set high academic expectations of his students[13] and also promoted shinty; in 1965, the Plockton team won the cup for Ross and Cromarty.[21] Friends and visitors commented on his prodigious knowledge and deep interest in genealogy and local history.[24][13] He continued to participate in leftwing politics, eventually joining the Scottish Labour Party.[13] During his later years, he published few poems due to his "concern with quality and authenticity over quantity";[24][21] his family responsibilities and career left him little spare time to write.[15]:5 MacLean said that he had burned his poetry instead of publishing it because of his "long years of grinding school-teaching and [his] addiction to an impossible lyric ideal".[14][2]

Part of the Sabhal Mòr campus with Knoydart visible across the Sound of Sleat

After his retirement in 1972, MacLean moved to his great-grandmother's house at Peinnachorrain in Braes on Skye, where he entertained frequently.[25][13] Following the English publication of his poetry, he began be in demand internationally for poetry readings, for which he traveled to such places as Rotterdam, Baddeck Cape Breton, and Berlin.[15]:5[26][25] MacLean was writer in residence at the University of Edinburgh from 1973 to 1975,[2][8] and the first filidh at the recently founded Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a Gaelic-medium university on Skye, from 1975 to 1976.[2] He was involved in founding the institution and also served on its board.[27] In 1993, his daughter Catrìona died at the age of 41; MacLean and his wife helped to raise her three children. The poet died of natural causes on 24 November 1996, aged 85, at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.[10]



Before he went to university, MacLean was writing in both English and Gaelic.[7] After writing a Gaelic poem, A' Chorra-ghritheach ("The Heron") in 1932, he decided to write only in Gaelic, and burned his earlier poems.[15]:2 Even though the prospective audience was only 80,000 people, MacLean felt that he could express himself better in his native language.[8][24] For 1,500 years, Scottish Gaelic literature had developed a rich corpus of song and poetry across "literary, sub-literary, and non-literate" registers; by the early 20th century it retained the ability to convey "an astonishingly wide range of human experience".[28]:392-3 MacLean's work drew on this "inherited wealth of immemorial generations".[28]:393 In particular, MacLean was inspired by the intense love poetry of William Ross, written in the eighteenth century.[29]:67 Of all poetry, MacLean held in highest regard the anonymous Scottish Gaelic songs composed before the eighteenth century by illiterate poets and passed down via the oral tradition.[7][9]:17[28]:397 He once said that Scottish Gaelic song-poetry was "the chief artistic glory of the Scots, and of all people of Celtic speech, and one of the greatest artistic glories of Europe".[9]:17

Although he once said that various Communist figures meant more to him than any poet,[15]:4 MacLean read widely and was influenced by poets from a variety of styles and eras. Of contemporary poets, Hugh MacDiarmid, Ezra Pound,[24] and William Butler Yeats had the greatest impact.[15]:3 After reading A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle by MacDiarmid, MacLean decided to try his hand at epic poetry.[17]:145 He was also influenced by the Metaphysical school.[29]:67

Dàin do Eimhir

While MacLean was in North Africa, he left his poetry with Douglas Young, who had promised to help publish it.[16] In November 1943, the poems were published as Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin Eile.[f][g] Dàin do Eimhir consisted of an "Eimhir" song cycle of sixty numbered poems, with twelve missing,[h] and other poems, including the long narrative poem An Cuilthionn in which the mountains of Skye symbolized the divisions in contemporary European politics.[31] The book marked a sharp break in style and substance of Gaelic poetry from earlier eras.[7] In his poetry, MacLean emphasized the struggle between love and duty, which was personified in the poet's difficulty in choosing between his infatuation with a female figure, Eimhir, and what he sees as his moral obligation to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War.[2][7]

The Cuillin inspired MacLean's poetry

The book has been the subject of scholarly debate. Attempting to explain why MacLean's earlier poetry has had the greatest influence, Derick Thomson wrote that it is love poetry which is most timeless, while MacLean's political poetry has not aged as well.[7] However, this type of commentary has been criticized as an attempt to depoliticize MacLean's work. Scottish poet Iain Crichton Smith said, "there is a sense in which the Spanish Civil War does not form the background to these poems, but is the protagonist".[9]:31

MacLean's work was innovative and influential because it juxtaposed elements from Gaelic history and tradition with icons from mainstream European history. He described his poetry as "radiating from Skye and the West Highlands to the whole of Europe".[15]:4 By this juxtaposition, he implicitly asserted the value of the Gaelic tradition and the right of Gaels to participate as equals in the broader cultural landscape.[2] According to John MacInnes, MacLean put the much-denigrated Gaelic language and tradition in its proper place, which has a profound effect on Gaelic-speaking readers and is fundamental to their reading of his poetry.[28]:393 In the epic An Cuilthionn,[i] the mountains of Skye are used as a synecdoche for rifts in European politics, and the suffering of the Gaels due to the Highland Clearances is compared to the suffering of European people under Nazism and other fascist regimes.[2][24] MacLean frequently compared the injustice of the Highland Clearances with modern-day issues;[3]:133 in his opinion, the greed of the wealthy and powerful was responsible for many tragedies and social problems.[3]:134

Summarizing the impact of the book, Professor Donald MacAulay wrote, "After the publication of this book Gaelic poetry could never be the same again."[16]


Although his poetry had a profound impact on the Gaelic-speaking world, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that MacLean's work became accessible in English translation.[7][32]:193 He was "virtually unknown" until some of MacLean's poems were reproduced in an anthology with three other poets, Four Points of the Saltire.[24][31] Iain Crichton Smith published an English translation of Dàin do Eimhir in 1971.[j] He was part of the delegation that represented Scotland at the first Cambridge Poetry Festival in 1975, establishing his reputation in England.[10][13] In 1977, Canongate Books published Reothairt is Contraigh: Taghadh de Dhàin 1932-72 (English: Spring tide and Neap tide: Selected Poems 1932-72), with translations by MacLean. MacLean changed the ordering of the poems in Dàin do Eimhir, altering many poems and omitting others. In the original version of An Cuilthionn, MacLean had called upon the Red Army to liberate Scotland.[k] This passage was expunged, among other alterations and omissions that led the Scottish Poetry Library to describe the 1977 version as having been "bowlderized". MacLean said that he would only consent to publishing the parts of his older work that he found "tolerable". In 1989, a further compilation of his poetry, O Choille gu Bearradh / From Wood to Ridge: Collected Poems in Gaelic and English won him lasting critical acclaim.[l] Complete annotated editions of his work have since been published.[2]

Hallaig, Raasay, made famous by MacLean's 1954 poem

From the early 1970s, MacLean was in demand as a reader of his own poetry. His readings were described as deeply moving even by listeners who did not speak Gaelic;[9]:17 according to Seamus Heaney, "MacLean's voice had a certain bardic weirdness that sounded both stricken and enraptured".[34] Gaelic poet George Campbell Hay wrote in a review that MacLean "is gifted with what the Welsh call Hwyl, the power of elevated declamation, and his declamation is full of feeling."[12]:1 These readings helped establish his international reputation as a poet.[9]:30

In the English-speaking world, MacLean's best-known poem is Hallaig, a meditation on a Raasay village which had been cleared of its inhabitants.[35]:442 Raasay was cleared between 1852 and 1854; most of its inhabitants were forced to immigrate to the colonies. Many of MacLean's relatives were affected, and Hallaig was one of the villages to be depopulated. The poem was written a century later, during MacLean's time in Edinburgh,[20][36]:418 and originally published in 1954 in the Gaelic-language magazine Gairm.[31] Beginning with the famous line, "Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig",[m] the poem imagines the village as it was before the Clearances, with the long-dead eternally walking through the trees.[36]:418-9 Unlike most of MacLean's output, Hallaig has no overt political references,[3]:128-129 and never directly mentions eviction or clearance.[24] For this reason, it was seen as politicially "safer" than others of MacLean's poems. Translated and promoted by Irish Nobel Prize Laureate Seamus Heaney,[35]:13 Hallaig achieved "cult status"[3]:134 and came to symbolize Scottish Gaelic poetry in the English-speaking imagination.[35]:13


MacLean's Gaelic originals generally followed an older style of meter, based on the more dynamic patterns of the oral tradition rather than the strict, static metres of the written poetry of the nineteenth century.[28]:397 He frequently combined metrical patters and shifted in the middle of a poem, achieving "sensuous effects" that cannot be translated.[28]:398 He typically used the traditional vowel rhymes, both internal and end-rhymes, that are ubiquitous in the oral tradition, but a few of his poems have less traditional rhyme schemes.[28]:399

According to John MacInnes, MacLean's poetry "exhibits virtually an entire spectrum of language". Some of his poetry is transparent, but the meaning of other poems needs to be untangled.[28]:393 MacLean said that he only coined a few neologisms.[citation needed] In contrast, the English translations were all written in a very straightforward style.[28]:394 MacLean described his translations as not poetry but rather "line-by-line translations";[citation needed] Seumas Heaney called them "cribs".[34]

Awards and honours

In June 1987, MacLean became the first freeman of Skye and Lochalsh.[37] He received seven honorary degrees.[n] Twice, he was the honorary head of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, in 1970 and 1982; he was made honorary president of the Saltire Society in 1985.[33] In 1989, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The next year, he was named the first University of Edinburgh Alumnus of the Year,[8] and awarded a Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.[2][7] He became a Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland in 1991, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1992, an honorary fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland in 1996, and an honorary Royal Scottish Academician the same year.[33] He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992;[26][38]:2 it has been suggested that he might have won if he had not written in such a marginalized language.[39] MacLean is commemorated by a stone in Makars' Court, outside the Writers' Museum, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, unveiled in 1998 by Iain Crichton Smith.[40]


Hugh MacDiarmid wrote a letter to MacLean in 1977, a year before his death, stating that he and MacLean were the best Scottish poets of the twentieth century.[2] MacDiarmid and MacLean influenced each other's work and maintained an extensive correspondence which has been published.[41] Douglas Young wrote that "the best poetry written in our generation in the British Isles has been in Scottish Gaelic, by Sorley MacLean."[42]:229 According to Iain Crichton Smith, translator of MacLean's poetry, Dàin do Eimhir was the "the greatest Gaelic book of this century", an assessment with which Christopher Whyte agreed.[29]:67 Smith compared the calibre of MacLean's love poetry to that of Catallus and William Butler Yeats. Nobel Prize Laureate Seamus Heaney said that MacLean had "saved Gaelic poetry... for all time".[7]

While acknowledging the literary merit of MacLean's work, Whyte suggested that it was unfortunate that in the 1980s it stood in for all Scottish Gaelic poetry in the Anglophone world. According to Whyte, MacLean's poetry is "comparatively unGaelic, elitist rather then populist, and permeable only with difficulty to the community which uses the language in its day to day existence".[29]:67-68 Compounding the difficulty is that the traditional medium of Gaelic poetry is song, and many fluent speakers do not have strong reading skills.[29]:66-7 In an effort to make MacLean's work more accessible to Scottish Gaelic speakers, the Sorley MacLean Trust commissioned several musicians[o] to set some of MacLean's poems to music.[44][45]

MacLean once gave a poetry reading at a Runrig concert.

In the Gaelic-speaking world, MacLean's influence has been pervasive and persistent. Poet Aonghas MacNeacail started writing in English, because "My education gave me to believe that Gaelic literature was dead"; he credited MacLean with convincing him otherwise and inspiring him to write in Gaelic. The Gaelic rock band Runrig once invited MacLean to come onstage for a poetry reading.[39] Australian poet Les Murray has acknowledged MacLean's influence on his work.[15]:5

A film, Hallaig, was made in 1984 by Timothy Neat, including a discussion by MacLean of the dominant influences on his poetry, with commentary by Iain Crichton Smith and Seamus Heaney, and substantial passages from the poem and other work, along with extracts of Gaelic song.[32]:193 The poem also forms part of the lyrics of Peter Maxwell Davies' opera The Jacobite Rising;[46] and MacLean's own reading of it in English and in Gaelic was sampled by Martyn Bennett in his album Bothy Culture for a track of the same name.[47]

Selected works



  1. ^ a b Gaelic patronymic: Somhairle mac Chaluim 'ic Chaluim 'ic Iain 'ic Tharmaid 'ic Iain 'ic Tharmaid.[1]:211
  2. ^ MacLean later regretted his decision to study English: "By the time I was in my second year I was greatly sorry I was taking a degree in English because I was interested only in poetry and only in some poetry at that. I wasn’t interested in prose and I was sorry I didn’t do Hons. Gaelic."[14]
  3. ^ Of North Africa, he later said, "It wasn't a very pleasant place".[12]:5
  4. ^ Cameron's mother was not of Gaelic ancestry, but her father, an Inverness joiner, was raised in Kilmuir on the Black Isle when it was still Gaelic-speaking.[19]
  5. ^ Gaelic medium education, banned in 1872,[22]:3 was eventually revived in 1985.[23]:119
  6. ^ English: Poems to Eimhir and Other Poems. The usual Gaelic would be "Dàin a dh'Eimhir", and it is possible that the title is a disguised pun.[30]:50
  7. ^ Dàin do Eimhir was published primarily in Gaelic, but included English prose translations of some poems in a smaller font.[31][29]:57
  8. ^ Some poems were omitted because MacLean doubted their quality; others were left out due to their personal content.[12]:5
  9. ^ An Cuilthionn was written between 1939 and 1940, never finished, but published anyway.[24]
  10. ^ This edition only contained 36 of the poems in the Eimhir sequence,[31] and did not reproduce the Gaelic originals.[29]:62
  11. ^ "Có bheir faochadh dhan àmhghar
    mur tig an t-Arm Dearg sa chàs seo?"
    (Who will give respite to the agony
    unless the Red Army comes in this extremity?)[2]
  12. ^ The book was the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year for 1990, and MacLean won the McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year.[33]
  13. ^ Scottish Gaelic: Tha tìm, am fiadh, an coille Hallaig
  14. ^
  15. ^ Stuart MacRae, Mary Ann Kennedy, Eilidh Mackenzie, Marie-Louise Napier, Allan Macdonald, Blair Douglas, Allan Henderson, Donald Shaw, and Kenneth Thomson[43]


  1. ^ a b MacDonald, Donald Archie (1986). "Some Aspects of Family and Local Background: an Interview with Sorley MacLean" (PDF). In Raymond J. Ross and Joy Hendry. Sorley MacLean: Critical Essays. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. pp. 211–222. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Sorley MacLean". Scottish Poetry Library. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Poncarová, Petra Johana (5 January 2015). "Sorley MacLean's Other Clearance Poems". Studies in Scottish Literature. 43 (1): 124–134. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Life - A Raasay Childhood (1911 - 1929)". Sorley MacLean online. Archived from the original on 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2018-01-06. 
  5. ^ "Calum Maclean Project". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Gillies, William. "Sorley MacLean" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 21 August 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "20mh linn– Am Bàrd: Somhairle MacGill-Eain". BBC Alba – Làrach nam Bàrd (in Scottish Gaelic). Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Alumni in history: Sorley Maclean (1911–1996)". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "The poetry of Sorley MacLean". Open University. 
  10. ^ a b c Macrae, Alasdair (1996-11-26). "Obituary: Sorley MacLean". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-01-06. 
  11. ^ MacLean, Sorley (1 November 1994). "Hallaig". PN Review. 21 (2): 10. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Nicholson, Colin (1 January 1987). "Poetry of Displacement: Sorley MacLean and his Writing". Studies in Scottish Literature. 22 (1). 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Ross, David (15 October 2011). "A personal eulogy for Sorley MacLean". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  14. ^ a b c d "University Days". The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i MacRae, Alasdair (2007). "Sorley MacLean in Non-Gaelic Contexts" (PDF). 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "Out of Skye to the World (1934-1943)". The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Day, Gary; Docherty, Brian (1997). British Poetry from the 1950s to the 1990s: Politics and Art. Springer. ISBN 9781349255665. 
  18. ^ a b Cheape, Hugh (2016). "'A mind restless seeking': Sorley MacLean's historical research and the poet as historian" (PDF). In R. W. Renton and I. MacDonald. Ainmeil thar Cheudan. An t-Eilean Sgitheanach: Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Clò Ostaig. pp. 121–134. 
  19. ^ a b Ross, David (13 March 2013). "Renee Maclean (obituary)". The Herald. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  20. ^ a b c "Edinburgh (1943-1956)". The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Plockton (1956-1969)". The Sorley MacLean Trust. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  22. ^ Robertson, Boyd. Gaelic: the Gaelic language in education in the UK (PDF). Leeuwarden, The Netherlands: Mercator-Education. 
  23. ^ Milligan Dombrowski, Lindsay; Danson, Eilidh; Danson, Mike; Chalmers, Douglas; Neil, Peter (28 August 2013). "Initial teacher education for minority medium-of-instruction teaching: the case study of Scottish Gaelic in Scotland". Current Issues in Language Planning. 15 (2): 119–132. doi:10.1080/14664208.2013.811006. ISSN 1466-4208. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h "Writing Scotland - Sorley MacLean". BBC. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  25. ^ a b "The Harvest of his Genius". The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  26. ^ a b "Death of poet Sorley MacLean". The Irish Times. 25 November 1996. 
  27. ^ "Sir Iain Noble Memorial Lecture recalls life of poet Sorley MacLean". The Stornoway Gazette. 26 November 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i MacInnes, John (2006). "Language, Metre and Diction in the Poetry of Sorley MacLean". In Newton, Michael. Dùthchas nan Gàidheal: Selected Essays of John MacInnes. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. pp. 392–417. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Krause, Corinna (2007). Eadar Dà Chànan: Self-Translation, the Bilingual Edition and Modern Scottish Gaelic Poetry (PDF) (Thesis). The University of Edinburgh School of Celtic and Scottish Studies. 
  30. ^ Haldane, Sean. "A Dying Tongue: Reading Sorley MacLean" (PDF). The Dark Horse Magazine. No. Summer 2007. 
  31. ^ a b c d e "Publications". The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  32. ^ a b Beard, David; Gloag, Kenneth; Jones, Nicholas (2015). Harrison Birtwistle Studies. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107093744. 
  33. ^ a b c d "Distinctions and honours". The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 20 August 2018. 
  34. ^ a b Heaney, Seamus (30 November 2002). "Seamus Heaney celebrates Sorley MacLean". the Guardian. 
  35. ^ a b c O’Gallagher, Niall (5 September 2016). "Ireland's eternal Easter: Sorley MacLean and 1916". Irish Studies Review. 24 (4): 441–454. doi:10.1080/09670882.2016.1226678. 
  36. ^ a b MacInnes, John (2006). "Hallaig: A Note" (PDF). In Newton, Michael. Dùthchas nan Gàidheal: Selected Essays of John MacInnes. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. pp. 418–421. 
  37. ^ "Freedom of Skye". The Glasgow Herald. 15 June 1987. p. 3. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  38. ^ "Certain Ither Maitters / Brave New Words". 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  39. ^ a b "Sorley MacLean: A Salute to the saviour of Gaelic verse". The Scotsman. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  40. ^ "Makars' Court". Museums and Galleries Edinburgh. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  41. ^ "The Correspondence Between Hugh MacDiarmid and Sorley MacLean: An Annotated Edition". Oxford University Press. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  42. ^ Van Eerde, John; Williamson, Robert (1978). "Sorley MacLean: A Bard and Scottish Gaelic". World Literature Today. 52 (2): 229–232. doi:10.2307/40132748. 
  43. ^ "Hallaig: A Musical Celebration of the Poetry of Sorley MacLean" (PDF). The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  44. ^ Mathieson, Kenny. "Blas 2011: Hallaig, A Musical Celebration of Sorley MacLean". Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  45. ^ "Hallaig - A Celebration of Sorley MacLean" (PDF). Urras Shomhairle - The Sorley MacLean Trust. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  46. ^ McGregor, Richard (2017). Perspectives on Peter Maxwell Davies. Routledge. p. 90. ISBN 9781351554350. 
  47. ^ "Obituary: Martyn Bennett". The Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 

External links

  • Article summarizing a lecture by Heaney on Hallaig and MacLean's writing.
  • Sorley Maclean's Island full-length documentary at the Scottish Screen Archive.

Further reading

  • Devlin, Brendan P. (1977) 'On Sorley MacLean' Lines Review 61, June, 5–19.
  • Herdman, John. (1977) 'The Poetry of Sorley MacLean: a non-Gael's view.' Lines Review 61, June, 25–36.
  • Ross, R.J. & J. Hendry (ed.) (1986) Sorley MacLean – Critical Essays Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press Ltd.
  • Caimbeul, Aonghas Pàdraig (ed.). Somhairle – Dàin is Deilbh. A Celebration on the 80th Birthday of Sorley MacLean. Stornoway: Acair, 1991.
  • Thomson, Derick (1994) The Companion to Gaelic Scotland Glasgow: Gairm Publications.
  • Mackay, Peter (2010) Sorley MacLean Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies.
  • Dymock, Emma (2011) Scotnotes: The Poetry of Sorley Maclean Glasgow: Association of Scottish Literary Studies.
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