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


  • It is time we in Scotland put England in its proper place and instead of our leaning on England and taking inspiration from her, we should lean and turn to Europe, for it is there our future prosperity lies.

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