Political subtexts in the poetry of Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract / Description of output

From the deniable Jacobite subtext in ‘Òran do Bhlàr na h-Eaglaise Brice’ to the dignified retrospective of the changes the poet has witnessed in ‘Cead Deireannach nam Beann’, Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir presents a variety points of view on the matter of politics in his poetry. The paper investigates the different themes that he tackles in his work, and how his outlook matures and develops over the course of his long life. Seemingly throwaway references in the imagery the poet uses are significant here, as is is the way in which he draws on genre conventions to explore political points. Donnchadh Bàn does not share Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair’s propagandistic fervour and gift of sharp analysis, preferring instead to give the point of view of the observer who has little opportunity to shape events himself but nevertheless has views on how they impact on him and his fellow Gaels. Thus, he tends to present a more developed view in his discussion of matters that are ‘close to home’ while on the other hand he often merely alludes to events further afield that are of arguably greater political significance overall. At the same time, Donnchadh Bàn’s poetry shows that he is in touch with some of the intellectual and cultural developments in Gaelic society that arise after the end of the Jacobite period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCànan is Cultar/Language & Culture
Subtitle of host publicationRannsachadh na Gàidhlig 9
EditorsMeg Bateman, Richard A.V. Cox
Place of PublicationIsle of Skye
Pages123-152
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Gaelic literature
  • poetry
  • eighteenth century
  • Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir

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