Hallaig is a poem by Sorley MacLean. It was originally written in Scottish Gaelic and has been translated into both English and Lowland Scots. A recent translation (2002) was made by Seamus Heaney, an Irish Nobel Prize winner.
The poem is named after a deserted township located on the south-eastern corner of the Hebridean island of Raasay, the poet's birthplace. It is a reflection on the nature of time and the historical impact of the Highland Clearances, leaving an empty landscape populated only by the ghosts of the evicted and those forced to emigrate.
Hallaig is incorporated in the lyrics of The Jacobite Rising, an opera by Peter Maxwell Davies, and can be heard, being read by MacLean, as part of the song "Hallaig" on Martyn Bennett's album Bothy Culture.
MacLean talked extensively about the poem in Timothy Neat's documentary for RTÉ, Hallaig: the Poetry and Landscape of Sorley MacLean in 1984.
- Partial text of the poem in Gaelic, with Sorley Maclean's own translation into English
- Translation by Seamus Heaney
- Article summarizing a lecture by Seamus Heaney on Hallaig and Maclean's writing
- A list of William Sweeney's works to 1996 including " Hallaig 12' "
- Version of the poem in Scots
- for Hallaig
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