University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Hugh MacDiarmid

Writings: 1946 - 1962


Speaking for Scotland: Selected Poems, edited by Mary Owens Miller, with an introduction by Compton Mackenzie. Baltimore: Contemporary Poetry, 1946.

This selection of MacDiarmid's poetry was the third volume in Contemporary Poetry magazine's Distinguished Poets Series and was the first American edition of MacDiarmid's poetry.


A Kist of Whistles: New Poems, by Hugh MacDiarmid. [Glasgow]: William MacLellan [1947].

Although characterized as new poems, this collection includes a number of MacDiarmid's poems from the 1930s, including several intended for the collection Alone with the Alone.


"Of Two Bulgarian Poets (To Dafinka L. Doganova)." Autograph manuscript, undated, 1 p.

Collected in A Kist of Whistles, MacDiarmid planned to include this poem in the collection Alone with the Alone.


Poetry Scotland. Number Four. Edinburgh: Serif Books [1949].

Hugh MacDiarmid served as guest editor of this selection of contemporary Scottish poetry. MacDiarmid has included four of his own poems and also contributes the afterward "A Word to the Wise."


Sangs o'the Stane. Glasgow: Scottish National Congress [1952].

This slim collection of poems and songs is unattributed to any author, but at least one poem, "On the Asportation of the Scone Stone," is by MacDiarmid.


Cunningham Graham: A Centenary Study, by Hugh MacDiarmid. Glasgow: Caledonian Press [1952].

R. B. Cunningham Graham was a leading Scottish Nationalist and socialist. He was president of the second Scottish Home Rule Association and was elected president of the National Party of Scotland following its formation in 1928. Cunningham Graham also served as first president of the Scottish chapter of PEN which MacDiarmid founded in 1927. This copy of MacDiarmid's study is a specially bound presentation copy the author sent to Lady Brooke, the niece of Cunningham Graham.


Hugh MacDiarmid (Christopher Grieve) to Lady Brooke, autograph letter signed, April 4, 1952, 2 pp.

Letter to Cunningham Graham's niece which accompanied the copy of the book which MacDiarmid presented to Lady Brooke.


Selections from the Poems of William Dunbar, edited with introduction by Hugh MacDiarmid. [Edinburgh]: Published for the Saltire Society by Oliver and Boyd, 1952.

In the mid-1920s, when Hugh MacDiarmid first outlined his ideas for a Scottish literary renaissance, he coined the slogan "Not Burns--Dunbar," as a way of advocating a movement away from the sentimentalism of Burns's poetry and toward the work of William Dunbar (ca. 1456-ca. 1520). For MacDiarmid, Dunbar was a sophisticated poet whose language, urban themes, and poetic technique made him the model for the experiments in contemporary Scots vernacular which he was conducting. This is one of several editions of Dunbar's poetry MacDiarmid edited.


"A Coronation Dream," in Scottish Journal (Glasgow) No. 8 (July 1953).

MacDiarmid wrote this poem in response to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He also contributed several reviews to the issue. Scottish Journal ran for twelve issues from September 1952 until April 1954.


In Memoriam James Joyce From A Vision of World Language, by Hugh MacDiarmid. Glasgow: William Maclellan, 1955. With illustrations by John Duncan Fergusson.

MacDiarmid worked on this long poem for more than two decades. Prior to this edition, however, its only publication had been as excerpts in his autobiography Lucky Poet (1943).


Poetry Like The Hawthorn, by Hugh MacDiarmid. Hemel, Hempstead: Duncan Glen, 1962.

One of one hundred fifty numbered copies. This special edition prints one of the best-known passages from In Memoriam James Joyce.


Three Hymns to Lenin, by Hugh MacDiarmid. Edinburgh: Castle Wynd Printers [1957].

This collection brings together for the first time MacDiarmid's three poems to Lenin.


The Battle Continues, by Hugh MacDiarmid. Edinburgh: Castle Wynd Printers [1957].

This poem represents MacDiarmid's response to the poet Roy Campbell's controversial poem Flowering Rifle (1939) which addressed the Spanish Civil War from a pro-Franco perspective. Portions of MacDiarmid's response to Campbell appeared in print shortly following the publication of Campbell's poem; ironically, however, the complete text was not published until after Campbell's death in 1957.


"A Message from Hugh MacDiarmid," in the Patrick East Social Credit Courier (Glasgow) 6 May [1958].

This piece was published during the Glasgow Municipal Elections as MacDiarmid tried to rally support for the Social Credit candidate.


Poems, by Boris Pasternak, translated by L. Slater. Fairwap, Sussex: Peter Russell, 1958.

MacDiarmid contributes the forward to this selection of Pasternak's poems.


Burns Today and Tomorrow, by Hugh MacDiarmid. Edinburgh: Castle Wynd Printers [1959]. This is number twelve of a special edition limited to twenty-five special copies signed by the author.

MacDiarmid maintained a lifelong love-hate relationship with Robert Burns and the Burns cult in Scotland. This essay written for the bicentenary of the birth of Robert Burns represents one of MacDiarmid's more extensive essays on Burns.


Robert Burns: Poems, selected and introduced by Hugh MacDiarmid. [London]: The Grey Walls Press [1949].

Even as he decried the influence Burns had on Scottish literature, he seldom turned down the opportunity to speak at the annual Burns Club dinners or deign to take on the editing duties for an edition of Burns's poetry. This is an edition MacDiarmid did for the publisher's Crown Classics series.


"Burns: The Next Step." Carbon typescript, [1932], 5 pp.

This manuscript is the initial section from a four part essay written under the pseudonym James Maclaren. The author's original autograph manuscript, which is dated 1932: January 26, is also present. MacDiarmid wrote this essay as part of a series for the Scottish Educational Journal under his Maclaren byline.


The Kind of Poetry I Want, [by] Hugh MacDiarmid. Edinburgh: K. D. Duval, 1961. Printed by Giovanni Mardersteig on the hand-press of the Officina Bodoni in Verona.

The edition consists of three hundred numbered copies all signed by the author. This is the first complete printing of another of MacDiarmid's long discursive poems which heretofore only appeared in excerpts.


David Hume: Scotland's Greatest Son, by Hugh MacDiarmid. [Edinburgh: The Paperback, Booksellers, 1961]. One of fifty numbered copies signed by the author.

This is the transcript of a lecture on Hume which MacDiarmid delivered at Edinburgh University in April 1961 during the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Hume's birth.


The Man of (Almost) Independent Mind, [by] Hugh MacDiarmid. Edinburgh: Giles Gordon, 1962.

This essay on David Hume was originally commissioned as an article for the journal New Saltire. After the journal's administrative committee rejected it as unsuitable for publication, Giles Gordon resigned as co-editor of New Saltire and published the essay himself as a pamphlet.


The Blaward and the Skelly, [by] Hugh MacDiarmid. [No place]: Privately printed, 1962. Printed in an edition of "10 copies only."

This poem was one of MacDiarmid's earliest Scots lyrics; it was originally published with "The Watergaw" in the Dunfermline Press (30 September 1922), but was never reprinted until this private publication by the author.


Bracken Hills in Autumn, by Hugh MacDiarmid. [Edinburgh: Colin Hamilton, 1962].

This edition of one of MacDiarmid's poems from the 1930s is limited to twenty-five copies each signed by Hugh MacDiarmid and the printer, E. Bruce Wilson.


Hugh Macdiarmid: A Festschrift, edited by K. D. Duval and Sydney Goodsir Smith. Edinburgh: K. D. Duval, 1962. This is one of fifty special copies signed by Hugh MacDiarmid with an autograph poem in his hand.

This book of critical essays, tributes, and personal reminiscences was published in celebration of MacDiarmid's 70th birthday.


A Vision of Scotland, [by] Hugh MacDiarmid. Edinburgh: Gordon Wilson [1962].

This edition of the poem is limited to forty-five copies signed by the printer, E. B. Wilson. Collected Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid (C.M. Grieve). Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1962.

Originally published in the United States, this collection was the first to bring together the bulk of MacDiarmid's poetry published to this point. This copy contains the author's presentation inscription on the flyleaf.

Introduction | Essay | Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 4 | Section 5


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