19mh linn / Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn

Beachdan

Taghadh à lèirmheasan a chaidh a sgrìobhadh mun bhàrdachd aig Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn, cuide ri beachdan air an clàradh air bhidio agus ann an earrainnean fuaim.

Macleod, I. N. deas. (1916)

Bàrdachd Leòdhais, dd. 67-76

Bàrdachd Leòdhais

Tha co-fhaireachdainn Iain Phàdraig ri a cho-luchd-dùthcha anns a' chùis seo ri fhaicinn anns na h-òrain aige gu lèir. Dleasaidh 'Spiorad a' Charthannais' a' chiad àite am measg a bhàrdachd. An uair a leughas neach na rainn seo, cuiridh e na chuimhne air uairean, bàrdachd Iain Mhilton ann am 'Paradise Lost' agus ann am 'Paradise Regained'. Tha e ri labhairt ri spiorad a' charthannais mar gum biodh duine ann, agus ag innse dha gach nì ionmholta tha ri innse mun cuairt air. Tha e ri tionndadh gu cor a dhùthcha, agus gu euceartan Dhòmhnaill Mhic an Rothaich, an seumarlan. Tha e ri sealltainn gu soilleir nach robh gnè spiorad a' charthannais ann an goill rògaich an duine seo, an uair a bu toil leis gum biodh na Leòdhasaich uile air am fògradh don choill.

Cha mhò tha spiorad caoimhneis anns na bàillidhean agus anns na tighearnan a chuir ar Gaidhealtachd fo fhèidh agus fo chaoraich, air chor is gu bheil tìr ar dùthchais an-diugh na fàsach, dòbhaidh truagh agus na leabaidh aig an fhiadh agus aig na cearcan-ruadha. Tha a chridhe goirt a chionn gun do chuir iad an tìr a bha àlainn fo naosgan, agus gun do bhuin iad cho brùideil ri daoine còire - ann an aon fhacal, gum bu mhiosa na bruid Bhabaloin an dìol a rinneadh orra.

Anns na roinn mu dheireadh tha e ri tionndadh gu seumarlan Leòdhais a-rithist, agus ri cur an cèill meud a dhroch-bheartan. Tha e sin ag ràdh gu bheil cumhachd ann nas motha na seumarlain Leòdhais, dom feum gach glùn lùbadh, agus gach teanga aideachadh, gur h-e seo Esan a bheir do gach neach a rèir a thoillteanais. Agus ged bu mhòr a chuid-san den t-saoghal, nach fhaigheadh e aig àm a bhàis, ach lèine agus dà cheum de thalamh.

  • An sin molaidh a' chnuimh-shnàigeach thu,
  • Cho tèirceach 's a bhios d' fheòil,
  • Nuair gheibh i air do chàradh thu,
  • Gu sàmhach air a bòrd.
  • Their i, "'S e fear miath tha seo,
  • Tha math do bhiast nan còs,
  • Bhon rinn e caol nan ceudan,
  • Gus e fhèin a bhiadhadh dhòmh-sa.

Bheireamaid an dara h-àite do 'Spiorad an Uamhair'. Tha am bàrd anns an dàn seo ri leantainn an dearbh chùrsa ri 'Spiorad a' Charthannais'. Is e sin a bhith ri labhairt ri cuspair a bhàrdachd mar gum biodh e ri bruidhinn ri duine. Is e seo an seòrsa bàrdachd ris an canar anns a' Bheurla 'Apostrophe', agus tha Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn glè dhèidheil air. Ghabh e cùrsa dha fhèin nach fhaic sinn ach tearc air a chleachdadh aig bàird Ghaidhealach, agus mar seo tha ùrachadh agus atharrachadh taitneach anns a' bhàrdachd, seach a' mhòr-chuid a tha ri luaidh air gaol, a' mhuir, am bàta, am monadh, am fraoch, an crodh agus an àirigh, agus na caileagan gràdhach le 'gruaidhean mar an ròs fo bhlàth'. Is iad seo na cuspairean bàrdachd a tha gu bitheanta aig mòran de ar bàird Ghaidhealach. Ach tha bàrdachd Iain Mhic a' Ghobhainn ri sealltainn inntinn a tha comasach agus breithneachail, agus a tha ri dol fada nas doimhne na seo. Tha e ri cur anama annta airson tiotain, agus ri luaidh air an cliù mar gum biodh iad an làthair.

Ann a bhith ri gabhail thairis air a' bhàrdachd aige chan fheum sinn dìochuimhne a dhèanamh air an òran 'Am Brosnachadh'. Ach saoilidh sinn nach eil Gaidheil a chluinneadh 'Am Brosnachadh' air a sheinn gu fonnmhor air sèist 'Eilean an Fhraoich' nach bu chòir gàirdeachas a bhith na chridhe gu bheil againn daoine a thogas ar cliù mar shluagh.

Meek, D. E. ed. (2003)

Caran an t-Saoghail: Anthology of 19th Century Scottish Gaelic Verse, td. 463

('Spiorad a' Charthannais') is remarkable for the manner in which it contextualises what was, at one level, no more than a localised dispute about grazings. Setting his argument within a Christian framework (ll. 1 – 48)* based on 1 Corinthians 13, Smith regards the dispute as the consequence of a breakdown of social cohesion. This manifests itself in the replacement of an older social structure with a much less sympathetic, commercial approach to the management of estates. This new approach has little time for the feelings and needs of ordinary folk; the people have become no more than disposable chattels (ll. 161 – 184). In place of the 'Spirit of Kindliness, a spirit of selfishness is evident. It reveals itself in the aggrandising actions of men like Donald Munro (l. 153 n), and in the imperial adventures of the British army (ll. 113-36), which has been served well by the British soldiers (ll. 185 – 216), whose relatives have been ill rewarded. It also appears in contemporary disputes creedal contentions in the churches (ll. 113, 36). Some of these perceptions are evident in the work of other Gaelic poets of the nineteenth century, but Smith's presentation is the most satisfying in the terms of presentation, and the most skilfully argued (ibid.: 26 – 27). The last section of the poem (ll. 225 – 56) reminds Donald Munro that, when death takes him, he will have no more than a grave as his estate.

Tha na h-àireamhan seo a' comharrachadh far an lorgar nan sreathan ann an Caran an t-Saoghail.

Thomson, D. S. (1974)

An Introduction to Gaelic Poetry, dd. 239, 241-245

An Introduction to Gaelic Poetry

In "Oran Luchd an Spòrs" he examines the policy of turning large tracts of the Highlands into deer-forests, for the benefit of landlords and visiting sportsmen. The problem that exercised Mac a' Ghobhainn a century ago is still with us, a grisly if often discreet reminder of the colonizing temper of the palmier days of the Empire... Mac a' Ghobhainn seems to see it, perhaps not entirely correctly, as a Scottish problem. At any rate he addresses his complaint to Scotland, which has rejected her own sons, and taken instead sportsmen whose pockets are filled with money. He reflects on the practical consequences of this in the event of war, born as he was in the year of revolutions (1848), and living as he did in the shadow of the Crimean War, and the longer shadow of Waterloo...

("Spiorad a' Charthannais") begins with a well-ordered discussion of the action of the spirit of kindliness in society. He uses a succession of balanced statements to build up a case and generate some emotion. In the first part of the poem he addresses the world, which he thinks has too often renounced kindliness. Here his argument is a general, abstract one. But as the poem proceeds he moves from the general to the particular, and we find the emotional temperature rising, and the language becoming more figurative and compelling. There is an interesting intermediate passage in which he attacks the loquacious and dogmatic, or alternatively the broody minister or Christian, making the point sharply that creeds and religious organization are not what matter most, and in the context of Lewis society he here shows a clear independence of thought and judgement, and the courage of his convictions. The latter section, in which he deals with the particular case of evictions, is very vivid in its detail. Here he had in mind the land-troubles which came to a head in Lewis in the 1870s, and in particular the infamous case of Donald Munro, Sir James Matheson's Chamberlain, whose oppression of tenants and general double-dealing were notorious.

...

It was the most savage and final indictment of the men and the policies that cast their cloud of shame over the century, and a real measure of reform was only a few years away when Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn died in 1881. His greatest poem has the heartbeats of his countrymen in it, but also the pulses of their intellect, and an observer a century later may confess to a sense of relief that heart and mind combined to produce a great poem before the century was out.

Teacsa

Dè nam biodh am bàrd beò an-diugh...

Nam biodh Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn beò an-diugh, tha mi cinnteach gum biodh an aon bheachd aige air daoine a bha milleadh chàich, agus gu ìre, gam milleadh fhèin gu mòralta le bhith a' dol an sàs ann an cùs iommhais agus a' dol an sàs ann an sgeamachan a bhiodh a' bristeadh structair an t-saoghail. Agus tha mi cinnteach nach biodh e glè mholtach air luchd-poilitigs a bharrachd a bha a' dèanamh an aon sheòrsa rud. Tha mi smaoineachadh gum biodh an sealladh a th' aige air an sin, nach biodh e eadair-dhealaichte bhon t-sealladh a bh' aige air an t-saoghal aige fhèin.

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