2023.1.7

>LITTERARIA PRAGENSIA 2023 (33) 65

On Irish Poets Writing in Scotland

Peter Mackay

 FULL TEXT   

 ABSTRACT (en)

Starting from the polyglot work of the Dublin-born and Skye-based Rody Gorman, who writes in Scottish and Irish Gaelic, English and his own invented translation of “intertonguing,” this essay explores recent poetic connections between the two countries through readings of Irish poets who live or have lived in Scotland: the Gaelic and Irish peregrinations of David Wheatley, and the “minoritized diasporic” position of poets in English such as Alan Gillis, Miriam Gamble, and Aoife Lyall. It discusses ways in which these poets engage with dislocation, linguistic multiplicity, the risks of being absorbed into a new environment, and the possibility of flitting – Sweeneylike – between places, literatures, and trees. It ends with a focus on the diasporic Gaelic writing of Niall O’Gallagher, and how he negotiates his Irish inheritance. There is an unexpected focus on bodybuilding, birds, and moths; on people being transformed into dolphins; and an unregretful Columba cheerily leaving Ireland behind.

 KEYWORDS (en)

Irish poetry, Scottish poetry, Sweeney, transformations, cianalas, poetic resistance, feathers

 DOI

https://doi.org/10.14712/2571452X.2022.65.7

 SOURCES

Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books, 2001.

Darcy, Ailbhe. “The New Irish Diaspora Poets.” The Town Crier, 7 August 2015. http://towncrier.puritan-magazine.com/irish-diaspora/.

Falci, Eric. “Reading in the Gutters.” Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry, edited by Peter Mackay, Edna Longley, and Fran Brearton, 161-75. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Gamble, Miriam. Pirate Music. Hexham, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 2014.

Gamble, Miriam. What Planet. Hexham, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 2019.

Gillis, Alan. Scapegoat. Oldcastle, Co. Meath: Gallery Press, 2014.

Gillis, Alan. The Readiness. London: Picador, 2020.

Gorman, Rody. Lorg Eile / Final Call. London: Francis Boutle Publishers, 2022.
Heaney, Seamus. Station Island. London and Boston: Faber & Faber, 1984.

Heaney, Seamus. The Haw Lantern. London: Faber & Faber, 1987.

Jamie, Kathleen, Don Paterson, and Peter Mackay, ed. The Golden Treasury of Scottish Verse. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd, 2021.

Lyall, Aoife. Mother, Nature. Hexham, Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books, 2021.

MacGill-Eain, Somhairle. Caoir Gheal Leumraich / White Leaping Flame: Collected Poems, edited by Emma Dymock and Christopher Whyte. Edinburgh: Polygon, 2011.

McCrum, Rachel. First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate. Edinburgh: Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2018.

O’Gallagher, Niall. Beatha Ùr. Inverness: Clàr, 2013.

O’Gallagher, Niall. Fo bhlàth. Inverness: Clàr, 2020.

O’Gallagher, Niall. Fuaimean Gràidh / Sounds of Love. London: Francis Boutle Publishers, 2023.

O’Gallagher, Niall. Suain Nan Trì Latha. Inverness: Clàr, 2016.

Thomson, Derick S. Creachadh na Clàrsaich: Cruinneachadh de Bhàrdachd, 1940-1980. Edinburgh: Macdonald, 1982.

Walls, Eoghan. “A Dialogue between Phenomenology and Poetry: Reading Heaney and Hopkins through Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty.” PhD diss., Queen’s University Belfast, 2009.

Walls, Eoghan. Pigeon Songs. Bridgend, Wales: Seren Books, 2019.

Wheatley, David. The President of Planet Earth. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2017.