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Robert Garioch
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Publication Date
01 January 2004
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
Age Range
20th Century

Robert Garioch

Collected Poems
by Robert Garioch - Find out more about the author

His first publication was Seventeen Poems for Sixpence (1940), a collaboration with Sorley Maclean, whom he had got to know as a student.

Garioch's most well-known work is his satirical and humorous verse written in Scots, such as the Edinburgh Sonnets, 'Embro to the Ploy' and 'The Canny Hen'. These poems offer shrewd observations of the city and its inhabitants, and Garioch himself acknowledged the influence of another of Edinburgh's great poets, Robert Fergusson, in this respect.

Garioch was also well-known as the translator into Scots of authors as disparate as Apolliniare, Pindar and the nineteenth-century Roman poet Guiseppe Belli, with whom he felt a particular affinity. He also wrote an autobiographical work, Two Men and a Blanket, in which he recounts his experiences as a prisoner-of-war in Italy and Germany in the 1940s.

Towards the end of his life, he was Writer-in-Residence at Edinburgh University, and also worked as lexicographer and transcriber in the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh University. He died in 1981.

This is the first major volume of Robert Garioch's poetry in over twenty years. Unlike the previous edition of his work (1983), it follows Garioch's own ordering of his poems, includes his own notes, as well as editorial explanations for readers unfamiliar with Garioch's Edinburgh background and a glossary of around a thousand dialect words. It also includes a biographical and critical essay, which assesses Garioch's place in the modern Scottish literary scene.