Hugh MacDiarmid

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Hugh MacDiarmid (11 August 18929 September 1978) is the pen name of Christopher Murray Grieve, who was a leading Scottish poet. He was a member of the Communist party and a prominent Scots Nationalist.


  • I amna fou' sae muckle as tired - deid dune.
    It's gey and hard wark coupin' gless for gless
    Wi' Cruivie and Gilsanquhar and the like,
    And I'm no' juist as bauld as aince I wes.
  • I'll ha'e nae hauf-way hoose, but aye be whaur
    Extremes meet - it's the only way I ken
    To dodge the curst conceit o' bein' richt
    That damns the vast majority o' men.
    • Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle (1926), II.141-4
      • These lines are on MacDiarmid's tombstone
  • The number of people who can copulate properly may be few; the number who can write well are infinitely fewer.
    • Review of Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
  • If there's a sword-like sang
    That can cut Scotland clear
    O a' the warld beside
    Rax me the hilt o't here.

    For there's nae jewal till
    Frae the rest o earth it's free,
    Wi the starry separateness
    I'd fain to Scotland gie.
    • To Circumjack Cencrastus
  • The rose of all the world is not for me.
    I want for my part
    Only the little white rose of Scotland
    That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart.
    • The Little White Rose

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