Rachael Annand Taylor, "The Princess of Scotland"

1. What are aspects of the poem's form, rhythm and word choices? How do these contribute to its effect?

2. Who is "Poverty"? How do you interpret the poem? Does the poem offer a social critique?

3. What elements of the poem do you find effective?

Bessie MacArthur, "The Collady-Stane"

1. Why do you think the author chooses a quartz stone as an image of truth? What are important features of the image?

2. Describe the poem's stanza form and sequence of thought. Does it progress?

3. How does the poem's diction reinforce its subject? What final point does the poem make?

Naomi Mitchison, "Remembering 1926"

1. How would you characterize the poem's point of view and audience? Does the speaker's position shift, and if so, what effect does this have on the reader?

2. The poem describes an incident in the General Strike of 1926. This began with a miners' strike after a lockout following a labor dispute, and broadened into a strike by several million workers. On what grounds does Mitchinson's speaker argue for sympathy with the eight men accused of plotting to cause a trainwreck?

3. How do rhythm and word choice reinforce the author's narration? Why does the speaker list the names of the accused? What is the poem's sequence of presentation?

4. What purpose is served by its concluding peroration? Is this an effecitve poem on its subject? Any contemporary relevance?


Christopher Grieves (Hugh MacDiarmid), "The Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle"

How is the poem's title appropriate? Does it resemble any other modernist or Scottish poems you/we have read?

How would you interpret the meaning of the entire sequence? What are its chief recurring poetic and thematic devices and motifs?

What are some of its linguistic/philosophic/cultural features?

What does the author seem to think of his native Scotland? Its literature? Its religion? Its politics? How are these concerns related?

What is your final evaluation of the poem? How would you compare it to other famous poems of the early twentieth century, for example, T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" or Auden's elegy on the death of W. B. Yeats?