The Literature of
Orkney and Shetland

On a Raised Beach

On a Raised Beach

By Hugh MacDiarmid
Researcher: Alex Thomson
Writer: Jim Mainland

First published in 1934, Hugh MacDiarmid's 'On A Raised Beach' was written during his years on Whalsay, and is often thought to have been inspired by the distinctive landscape of the Shetlands. It reflects the poet's characteristic preoccupations with what he calls 'elemental things': language, religion and science; the nature of the universe and mankind's place within it. Some critics consider it MacDiarmid's single greatest poetic achievement.

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