An Cuilithionn 1939

The Cuillin 1939 and Unpublished Poems

By Sorley Maclean

Edited by Christopher Whyte

Format: Paperback

This new edition of Sorley MacLean's major poem 'An Cuilithionn' ('The Cuillin'), in Gaelic with English translation, includes 400 lines never before published, plus an extended commentary. A further 45 poems from MacLean's papers appear in print for the first time, with facing English versions.

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The Association for Scottish Literary Studies

The Association for Scottish Literary Studies is an educational charity that aims to promote the study, teaching and writing of Scottish literature, and to further the study of the languages of Scotland. To these ends, ASLS publishes works of Scottish literature which have either been neglected or which merit a fresh presentation to a modern audience, and critical anthologies of both creative and non-fiction writing.

Product Description


The work of Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean), the greatest Gaelic poet of the 20th century, has a significance which echoes far beyond the confines of his time, his country and his language. His extended political poem 'An Cuilithionn' ('The Cuillin'), taking the celebrated mountain range in Skye as a symbol for the international revolutionary movement, has hitherto been known only in an abridgement, made fifty years after its initial conception in 1939 on the eve of World War II. Christopher Whyte's edition of the original manuscript includes 400 lines never before published, along with MacLean's own English translation from the time of writing, and an extended commentary. Forty-five other previously unpublished poems by Sorley MacLean also appear here for the first time, with facing English translations.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint The Association for Scottish Literary Studies
Publication Date 10 Jun 2011
ISBN 9781906841034
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

A defiant affirmation of Gaelic cultural pride, it's a political call to arms as well [...] It's hard, all those decades later, to recapture the feeling that all will be well if only the red flag flies over the Black Cuillin. Yet it's difficult too to resist the ingenuous eloquence of a poem which - in a single Neruda-esque sweep - takes in the beauties of the country and the sufferings of its poor and then sets both against a vastly wider historic background. An Cuilithionn proclaims the utter centrality of the utterly parochial. A triumph. - The Scotsman ... it communicates intense intellectual and emotional excitement by way of breathless syntactical structures and tumbling, seemingly inexhaustible rhymes. - The Times Literary Supplement

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