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|Metadata for text 1|
|No. words in text||11873|
|Title||Somhairle MacGill-Eain: Dàin do Eimhir|
|Date Of Edition||2002|
|Date Of Language||1900-1949|
|Publisher||Association for Scottish Literary Studies|
|Volume||31 (Association for Scottish Literary Studies)|
|Location||National, academic, and local libraries|
|Alternative Author Name||Sorley MacLean|
|Manuscript Or Edition||Ed.|
|Size And Condition||
21cm x 14cm
|Short Title||Dàin do Eimhir|
|Reference Details||EUL: PB1648.M328Macl|
|Number Of Pages||
vii, 295 pages
|Gaelic Text By||N/A|
Sorley MacLean was born on the island of Raasay in 1911 into a family with a strong tradition of music, poetry and song. He spoke no English until he went to school where it was the language of the classroom. English and Scots were used in the playground due to the influx of labour from the Scottish Lowlands to work the local mine. From 1929 to 1933, he attended Edinburgh University and studied English Language and Literature. The early poems in this sequence date from this period of his life. He then qualified as a teacher at Moray House College of Education and began his career at Portree High School. He continued his career in Mull, then Edinburgh. Briefly, in 1939-40, he taught evacuees in Hawick. The sequence of poems was completed by September 1941 before he left for active service in North Africa.
The sequence contains sixty love poems written to four different women between 1931 and 1941. The first is referred to in I, the second, a Skye girl, in III, the third, an Irish woman, in more than half of the poems from IV-XXII and the fourth, a Scottish woman, first appears in V. Poem VII has not been located. An ‘extra poem’, discovered recently and clearly belonging with the sequence, was published in C. Whyte and E. Dymock, Sorley MacLean: Collected Poems, Birlinn/Polygon 2011, pp. 148-9.
The language of the sequence presents a spectrum of the registers of literary Gaelic. Structurally, the poems range from very simple to very complex. In general, when MacLean is describing straightforward physical subjects, such as a boat sailing, the language is simple and direct. For example, in poem xlix, p 103: Bha ’m bàt’ agam fo sheòl ’s a’ Chlàrach \ a’ gàireachdaich fo sròin, \ mo làmh cheàrr air falmadair \ ’s an tèile ’n suaineadh sgòid. \ Air dara tobhta ’n fhuaraidh \ shuidh thu, luaidh, ’nam chòir \ agus do ròp laist’ cuailein \ mum chrìdh ’na shuaineadh òir. At the opposite end of the spectrum, when MacLean is expressing metaphysical and philosophical concepts, the language is more abstruse. For example in poem lvii, p 117: Dè ’n t-sùil a nì am faicinn \ no chluas a nì an claisteachd \ ’s iad air turas faondraidh \ bharr smaointean aigne? \ Ciod e an ceathramh seòl-tomhais \ a bheir an àilleachd seo fa chomhair \ sùla, reusain no aon chàileachd \ thar fàsaichean glomhair?
The text of this edition has been modified in the direction of the currently accepted form of Gaelic spelling. Acute accents have been eliminated. Short vowels in unstressed syllables are written with -a- rather than -u-. Personal forms of the preposition ann have initial apostrophe, e.g. ’nam, ’nad, but not those of aig, e.g. gam, gad. The poet’s distinction between -ia- and -eu- spellings of the same word has been preserved. Direct speech is represented by a colon followed by a capital. Capital letters bear accents as appropriate. The forms ’s e and ’s ann are used rather than se and sann. The spelling (-)st(-) is generally preferred to (-)sd(-). Such modifications have been made with the utmost respect for the phonetic and phonological particularities of MacLean’s originals.
First edition. The Gaelic and English texts were largely reproduced from the 1999 corrected edition of O Choille gu Bearradh / From Wood to Ridge, supplemented as necessary from manuscript sources, the 1943 volume, and by the editor’s own translations. Six of the poems in this text have not been published previously. Significant variant readings and differences in punctuation are given from other editions than the present one. The variant readings and, where appropriate, MacLean’s original publications, should be checked by editors.
MacLean, S., Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin eile (Glasgow, 1943: W. MacLellan).