This year’s prestigious Angus Macleod Memorial Lecture will be given by Dolina Maclennan, the well-known Gaelic singer, actress and writer from Marvig in Lewis, at 7.30pm on Friday 28th October at Pairc School, Gravir, South Lochs, Lewis. Her subject is ‘Buaidh Bàrdachd’ (The Power of Poetry) and the lecture will be delivered in English. Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc, the lead organisers, will also be publishing at the event a ‘song-book’ of poems by the late Murdani ‘Mast’ Kennedy from Marvig, a neighbour of Dolina in her youth.
Dolina said: “I have had the pleasure of having lasting friendships with a great many of the late 20th century poets bards and singers of ballads and I want to share with you the wealth of knowledge and awareness I have garnered through my association with them, though my love of verse began in my schooldays with Alasdair Urquhart and Jean Maclean. Alasdair introduced me to the great Gaelic bards and Jean to their English counterparts.
Co iad? Who are they? Who are the Makars, the Laureates, the rhymers, the elegists, the balladeers, the sonneteers, the minstrels, the bards?
All poets. It’s where their inspiration comes from that singles them out. For instance, the Makars and Laureates are appointed by State or City and have to produce a poem about Royal and Civic events – not an easy task but a great honour for the recipient. The elegists write verse usually in praise of the dead. A song of mourning. The sonneteers are very skilled (not to say that other poets aren’t) because they have to curtail their verse into fourteen lines of ten or eleven syllables.
Many people say ‘Poetry – no time for that’ or ‘they have little to do’ or yet again ‘never understood it’ with a dismissive shrug to go along with it.
Poetry in whatever form is with us from the cradle to the grave – beginning with lullabies and ending with elegies, including metrical psalms and verses in the Gazette. Minstrels were the first news correspondents, roaming from place to place with news of battles and happenings of all kinds. More about them and much more in October – ma bhios an cothrom agam!”
Donnie Morrison, chairman of Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc, commented: “We are delighted that Dolina has agreed to give this lecture. It is a great honour for us. Together with the launch of the Murdani ‘Mast’ song-book, this promises to be a great evening. All are welcome to come along – admission will be free. We expect a lot of interest. Please make a note in your diaries now.”