A Sober Student Looks at MacDiarmid
Weil, first aff I maun say "weil duin" tae Billy Kay on gettin his honorary degree frae the University of the West of Scotland (read about it i the news section o the site). He ralley deserrs recogneition for the braw wark he's duin for the Scots leid an the cultur o Lawland Scotland ower the years. It wis readin his beuk "The Mithir Tongue" tae got me intae Scots, leid poleitics an aw the rest - sae gin ye dinna like ma blog, nou ye ken it's his blame!
The day I'll be stairtin on MacDiarmid's maisterpiece "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle". Afore nou I've ainlie read sum o his shorter leirics - The Wattergaw, The Eemis Stane, Crowdieknowe (ma ain favourite). I'll let ye ken hou I get on... it's no thocht o as a licht read! Whiles acause o the wey that MacDiarmid an his follaers haed o howkin auld an dialecktal wurds out o dictionars, an sae haes a kind o "airtifeicial" feel tae thaim - aften fowk thinks thon's whit aw Scots writin is like, therefore Scots is an airtifeical leid. I can see whuar thon attitude micht come frae, but I think fowk ocht no tae confuse poesy an ithir leiterature wi common speech oniewey. I mean, dae ye ken a bodie that speaks Inglish like Joyce writes it in "Ulysses"? Or what about this:
But proud of their cortex few
Have glimpsed the medial nuclei yet
Of their thalamus - that Everest in themselves...
All is lithogenesis - or lochia,
Carpolite fruit of the forbidden tree,
Stones blacker than any in the Caaba,
Cream-coloured caen-stone, chatoyant pieces,
Celadon and corbeau, bistre and beige,
Glaucous, hoar, enfouldered, cyathiform,
Making mere faculae of the sun and moon...
Perfyte naitural Inglish frae Mr. MacDiarmid hissel! Jings, hauf the wurds i thon seicind extrack cam up as wrang i ma spellchecker! I suppose whit I'm tryin tae say is, makars aften uise orra wurds for the souch, for the effeck they hae... it tells us mair about the poem an the poet nor the leid, aften enouch. Hee hee, it minds me o whan a bodie in sum paper or ithir wis cawin doun the Scots Wikipedia, sayin the content wisna up tae the staundarts o MacDiarmid... can ye imagine gin the Inglish Wiki wis wrate like the bits I jist quotit! Jings... Wiktionary wad suin be the maist veisitit site on the wab!
Aw the best,
Sang o the Week: Iron - Ensiferum. Braw sang frae the Finnish fowk metallers. Bocht ma ticket for seein thaim i Glesca in October \m/
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