Juxtaposition – Two Scottish Poets

When I read Iain Crichton Smith’s poem it resonates, for me, with the poem by Hugh MacDiarmid.

I’m not ‘proud’ to be a Scot – that’s an accident of birth – but I’m happy to belong to a little nation with a large past, complete with the cruel suffering of the highland clearances, the pride that fell along with the first Tay Bridge, the dismal defeat of “the flowers of the forest” at Flodden, the heart-stirring triumph of Bannockburn, the compelling history built into the Royal Mile, the greatness of the Scottish Enlightenment, to pick out just a few.

‘Sharpness and sweetness’ that sometimes fills, and sometimes breaks, the Scottish heart. Both belong forever together, and make us whole and complete.

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