Alan Riach discusses his translations of Praise of Ben Dorain and The Birlinn of Clanranald in ‘The National’

Make sure you read Alan Raich's detailed account of his reasons for undertaking new translations of Praise of Ben Dorain and The Birlinn of Clanranald in The National, and then buy the pamphlets here.

Praise of Ben Dorain is a register of loss: not a praise poem for a chief, hero, leader or clan, but a praise poem for a non-human source of economic health and human well-being, a politically balanced ecology, a mountain that is not simply the “earth-mother” myth idealised but a reality, a promise of what health is, what regeneration requires. It is sublime, but it is also utterly realistic.

Let it be a manifesto for land ownership in Scotland. Let it be read and held in mind and mortal memory. It warrants such, repays as much, every bit as richly as any songs of Burns.

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