Sydney Goodsir Smith, Poet

Essays on His Life and Work


Sydney Goodsir Smith, Poet: Essays on His Life and Work offers the first substantial work to assess his life and writings since his premature death in 1975. Considered a major figure in the second wave of Hugh MacDiarmid’s ‘Scottish Literary Renaissance’, Smith’s unique body of work has largely fallen from critical discussion of post-war Scottish literature.

This book remedies this by showing how his work may have fallen out of favour, and then by reappraising his distinctive and varied achievements in poetry, drama, art and art criticism, the novel and translations. Early career and established academics explore the many strands of his work as the best way of giving this multifaceted literary figure renewed attention.

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Richie McCaffery is an independent researcher in the field of Scottish literature, as well as a published poet, with his most recent collection being Passport (2018). He has a PhD (2016) in Scottish literature from the University of Glasgow.
Acknowledgments and a Note on the Poems
Notes on Contributors

  Richie McCaffery

1 Sydney Goodsir Smith: A Centenary Appreciation
  Patrick Crotty

2 Skail Winds and Scattered Personalities: The Formation of Identity in Sydney Goodsir Smith’s Early Poetry
  Emma Dymock

3 ‘My Elder Brother in the Muse’: Sydney Goodsir Smith and Hugh MacDiarmid
  Margery Palmer McCulloch

4 Refraction, Intertexts and Diegesis in Sydney Goodsir Smith’s under the Eildon Tree
  Christopher Whyte

5 Nationalism in the Poetry of Sydney Goodsir Smith
  J. Derrick McClure

6 ‘Huntress, Slayer, White Unmortal Queyne’: Women in the Work of Sydney Goodsir Smith
  Monika Szuba

7 ‘Order and Adventure’: Sydney Goodsir Smith’s Translations
  Stewart Sanderson

8 Sydney Goodsir Smith: Gangrel Rymour, European Scot
  Tom Hubbard

9 Unreal Edinburgh: From Li Po to Kynd Kittock
  John Corbett

10 Reveries of a ‘Gangrel Scriever’: Gowdspink in Reekie and Oliver Goldsmith
  Mario Relich

11 ‘Your maist inebriant savant’: A History of Sydney Goodsir Smith’s Carotid Cornucopius
  Richie McCaffery

12 The Merrie Life and Dowie Death of Colickie Meg: An Unpublished Carotidian Drama
  Paul Barnaby

13 Sydney Goodsir Smith’s the Wallace in Context
  David Robb

14 Sydney Goodsir Smith, Artist and Art Critic
  Alan Riach and Alexander Moffat

Selective Glossary of Sydney Goodsir Smith’s Scots Words

Annotated Bibliography of Publications by and about Sydney Goodsir Smith

Anyone employed, interested, and involved in the burgeoning field of Scottish literature, and of twentieth-century British poetry, will appreciate the significance of this book.