The Watergaw

By Hugh MacDiarmid 1892–1978 Hugh MacDiarmid
Ae weet forenicht i’ the yow-trummle   
I saw yon antrin thing,
A watergaw wi’ its chitterin’ licht
Ayont the on-ding;
An’ I thocht o’ the last wild look ye gied   
Afore ye deed!

There was nae reek i’ the laverock’s hoose   
That nicht—an’ nane i’ mine;
But I hae thocht o’ that foolish licht   
Ever sin’ syne;
An’ I think that mebbe at last I ken
What your look meant then.

Hugh MacDiarmid, “The Watergaw” from Selected Poetry. Copyright © 1992 by Alan Riach and Michael Grieve. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Complete Poems (Grove/Atlantic Inc., 1993)

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Poet Hugh MacDiarmid 1892–1978

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects Weather, Death, Living, Relationships, Nature

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Hugh  MacDiarmid

Biography

C. M. Grieve, best known under his pseudonym Hugh MacDiarmid, is credited with effecting a Scottish literary revolution which restored an indigenous Scots literature and has been acknowledged as the greatest poet that his country has produced since Robert Burns. As a writer, political theorist, revolutionary, prophet, and multifaceted personality, he was a man to be reckoned with, even by those who did not agree that he was one . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Weather, Death, Living, Relationships, Nature

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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