Fifteen Poems of Sorley MacLean: A Commentary

Sorley MacLean is the greatest Gaelic poet of the twentieth century. Taking a contemporary voice, breaking away from the nostalgia of earlier Gaelic works, and injecting a powerful intellectual force, he marked a new beginning for Gaelic poetry and changed the course of Gaelic literature. These recordings of Sorley MacLean reading his poems, with commentary by that other great poet, Iain Crichton Smith, cover major themes of MacLean's work: 'Calvary' and 'Highland Woman', for example, deal with social, political and religious issues; 'Death Valley' is one of the finest poems of the Second World War in any language; and 'Hallaig', a haunting exploration of the diminishing Gaelic culture of the past and the problems of its revival in a modern age. MacLean's sonorous readings draw out the power of his poetry. His fellow-poet Iain Crichton Smith provides informed and insightful commentary into every poem, making this CD an excellent tool for study, as well as giving users a chance to hear one of Britain's greatest modern poets reading his own work.