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Lewis Spence

(1874—1955) poet and Scottish nationalist


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Although he wrote little, Spence's position in modern Scottish poetry rests on his introduction of a richer Scots idiom than the rural dialect of his contemporaries prior to Hugh MacDiarmid's more sweeping innovations. His best-known poem is ‘The Prows O'Reekie’, an impassioned, proud, excitable, and memorable piece about Edinburgh, and ‘Great Tay of the Waves’, ‘The Siller Bullet’, and ‘Kinrick’ are not without their exhilarations. ‘The Stown Bairn’ and ‘The Ferlie’ draw from his interest in fairy lore, mythology, and the occult, in which subjects Spence was a scholar, publishing many books, some of them possibly crazed—Will Europe Follow Atlantis?, for example.

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From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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