MacLeod, Mary

MacLeod, Mary
(1569-1674)
   Gaelic bard Màiri Nighean Alasdair Ruaidh was born at Rodel, Isle of Harris, and died at Dunvegan, Isle of Skye. Her poetry deals with the heroic exploits of the Macleod family and expresses her deep emotional attachment to the family. She spent most of her life at the Macleod household of Dunvegan Castle, acting as nurse to successive generations of chieftains. One of the finest poets in the language, she was reputed to have excused her poetry as mere lullabies for the children in her care. Legend also has it that she was buried face down at St. Clement's Church in Rodel, Harris, for daring to compose poetry - a fate usually reserved for those accused of witchcraft. Some of her poems: "A Satiric Song," "Blue Song," "Crònan an Taibh," "Dirge," "Jealousy," "Lament for MacLeod," "MacLeod's Lilt," "Song to Iain Son of Sir Norman," "The Croon," "The Wedding of MacLeod," "Tricky Margaret."
   Sources: Early Modern Women Poets (1520-1700). Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson, ed. Oxford University Press, 2001. Gaelic Song-An Introduction (http://www.gaelicmusic.com/gaelicsong). Gaelic Songs of Mary Macleod. J. Carmichael Watson, ed. Blackie and Son Limited, 1934. Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Robert Crawford and Mick Imlah, eds. Penguin Books, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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