ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: June 24, 2004
By (author) Hugh MacDiarmid; Edited by Alan Riach; Edited by Michael Grieve
This selection explores the diversity of Hugh MacDiarmid’s work, from delicate lyrics derived from the Scots ballad tradition to fierce polemic. “A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle” and “On a Raised Beach–“with a full glossary of its technical terms–are included, as are glossed Scots words at the foot of each page and an illuminating memoir by MacDiarmid’s son.
Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Murray Grieve) was born in 1892 at Langholm in the Scottish Borders. After training as a teacher, he worked as a journalist, before serving in France and Greece during the First World War. Returning to Scotland, he worked as a journalist, and in 1922 began to publish poems in Scots. From that point he became a key figure in the Scottish Renaissance. He became a founder-member of the Scottish National Party in 1928, and joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1934. He was expelled from both during the 1930s, although he rejoined the Communist Party in 1956. Between 1933 and 1942 he lived with his second wife in the Shetlands. In 1951 he settled with his family at Brownsbank, near Biggar, where he lived until his death in 1978.