Alan Bold

Alan Bold lives in Fife. He has edited The Letters of Hugh MacDiarmid and The thistle rises: A MacDiarmid Miscellany, and is the author of studies of Thom Gunn, Ted Hughes and George Mackay Brown.

Poem: ‘The Great Plant Collector’

Alan Bold, 22 January 1987

i.m. David Douglas, 1798-1834

Accompanied by eagles, David Douglas trecked Through forests and rivers in search of seed. Wet or wounded, he remained undaunted: His roots in Scone, his crown outside.

The Indians called him ‘grassman’, Watched him paddle his own canoe. He went through rapids, escaped from a whirlpool, There seemed nothing he wouldn’t do.

David Douglas, in...

MacDiarmid and his Maker

Robert Crawford, 10 November 1988

Before 1922 Hugh MacDiarmid did not exist. And only Christopher Murray Grieve would have dared to invent him. Alan Bold’s valuable biography points out that when the 30-year-old Grieve...

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Donald Davie, 7 March 1985

For the rather few people nowadays who still believe that modernism was something that really happened to or in our poetry, something of which the energies are not yet spent, three names are...

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MacDiarmid’s Sticks

C.H. Sisson, 5 April 1984

Was Hugh MacDiarmid a great poet? Was he, as John MacQueen asserts in his Foreword to Catherine Kerrigan’s study, one of ‘the three greatest poets to use English in the 20th...

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