Throughout the poem, the mountains are regularly compared to an army. Three key examples of this are:

  • a company of mountains
  • a rising of glens
  • a cavalry of mountain

This enables MacLean to capture several qualities of the landscape that he is describing:

  • its imposing nature
  • its power
  • its stature
  • its resilience

In addition, the landscape is portrayed as a reflection of its violent past. This violence seems to still endure. This is an idea similar to that described in Hallaig. Like we see at times in Shores, in Kinloch Ainort the scale and nature of the landscape is a reflection of its past and of power.

The military terms that MacLean uses do not consistently portray the mountains as being organised. Words like rising have connotations of rebellion rather than an ordered, regimented army.MacLean is perhaps using this to reflect stages of Highland history, such as the Jacobite Risings.