Roderick MacDonald

Original and Exuberant

First published in 1992, the late Rev. Roderick Macdonald’s epic translation of the complete works of Robert Burns has been reissued by the Burns-Gaelic Trust at £20.00. Like his shorter Ceud Oran le Raibeart Burns (Crùisgean, 1990, £5.20), which has a hundred of the best-known poems/songs, one of his own books of original verse, Traoghadh is Lìonadh (Stornoway Gazette, 1991, £3.50), and several others, it is available from the Trust at St Mary’s, Belford Road, Fort William PH33 6BT.

The Highland Council has published an anthology of poetry and prose under the title A Little Borderless Village/Baile Beag gun Chrìochan (£7.99). Edited by the bilingual Lewis poet Kevin MacNeil, the Council’s first Iain Crichton Smith Writing Fellow, it’s arranged in sections such as ‘Daily Life in the Village’, The School’, ‘At Night’ etc., and about a third of the sixty or so pieces are in Gaelic. The illustrations and the colourful cover are by Karen Sutherland and the whole is dedicated to the much-missed Iain Crichton Smith.

Just before Christmas, Marie C. NicAmhlaigh produced – and published (as Cl

ò TaC) – Teàrlag agus am Bodach-Sneachd … agus an Cèic, her second book about the little girl in whose house the spoons had such an interesting time in the first book (still available). On this occasion Teàrlag is introduced to the wonders of snow and to the making of a snowman. As before, there’s a cassette on which Catriona Murray reads the text and an English translation of it. Like the book, this costs £6.95 (buy the two together for £12.00). The first Teàrlag book was published by Leabhraichean Beaga, and Lisa Storey’s latest book is An Iteileag aig Calum agus Mòrag (£4.00). The brother and sister mentioned in the title continually fall out, but a present of a kite from an aunt brings them together – for a while… This has black and white illustrations and a colour cover by Brian McHenry.

Finally, a large-format new book from Acair: A’ Chàparaid (£5.99), based on Phyllis Root’s’ The Rattletrap Car, illustrated in colour by Jill Barton and exuberantly rendered into Gaelic by Tormod Caimbeul.

Copyright Ian MacDonald 2005