Hugh MacDiarmid: A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle

(3567 words)
  • Kirsten Matthews (University of Glasgow)
  • Alan Riach (University of Glasgow)

First published in 1926, Hugh MacDiarmid’s A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle was to continue a literary campaign that he had already begun with the publication of short lyrics in Scots, and with the profusion of propagandist articles, pamphlets and magazines he had produced in support of the “Scottish Literary Renaissance”. A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle made a renewed claim for the validity of Scots as a contemporary literary language, and thus for the definition of a place for Scotland and Scottish culture in the international artistic spectrum. Advertising the as yet unpublished (and uncompleted) poem in the Glasgow Herald in December 1925, MacDiarmid announced the creation of:

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Matthews, Kirsten, Alan Riach. "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 July 2005
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]