Smith, Sydney, Goodsir

(1915-1975)
   He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, of a Scottish mother and a father who was an army medical officer and later professor of forensic medicine at Edinburgh. After Malvern College, England, rather than medicine, Smith studied history at Oriel College, Oxford. With Hugh MacDiarmid he was at the forefront of the Scottish Renaissance and quickly adopted Scots (Lallan) for his poetry. His first collection, Skail Wind, was published in 1941 and his novel Carotid Cornucopius (1947) draws a vivid picture of all aspects of Edinburgh low life. His play Wallace was performed at the Edinburgh Festival of 1960. Under the Eildon Tree (1948) was a twentyfour part poem celebrating romantic love. He was a dedicated amateur painter and a gifted translator, and for several years he was art critic for The Scotsman. He took his place in the Makers' Court, Edinburgh, the Scottish equivalent of Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner, in July 2003. Some of his poems: "Can I Forget?" "El Alamein," "Hamewith," "Leander Stormbound," "Loch Leven," "Omens," "The Deevil's Waltz," "The Grace of God and the Meth-Drinker," "War in Fife."
   Sources: Biography of Sidney Goodsir Smith: Scottish Authors (http://www.slainte.org.uk/scotauth/smithdsw.htm). Collected Poems of Sydney Goodsir Smith. Calder Publications Ltd (1976). Poets' Work Makes Court Appearance. Evening News, 24th July 2003 (http://news.scotsman.com/arts.cfm?id=801792003). Seven Centuries of Poetry: Chaucer to Dylan Thomas. A.N. Jeffares, ed. Longmans, Green, 1955. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse. John Heath-Stubbs and David Wright, eds. Faber and Faber, 1975. The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. Robert Crawford and Mick Imlah, eds. Penguin Books, 2000. The New Zealand Edge: Media / Newzedge: Sydney Goodsir Smith (http://www.nzedge.com/media/archives/archv-arts-writers.html). The Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation. Charles Tomlinson, ed. Oxford University Press, 1980. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

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

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