Nature

The Hallaig MacLean visits has returned to nature. Once the people lived there in tune with nature; their lives governed by the moods of the sea and the weather, their homes fashioned from the local stones, wood and heather thatch, their diet from the sea, livestock and crops.

But in the remaining woods and mosses MacLean ‘sees’ his people. The visionary is a feature of highland belief. The poet infuses the landscape with the spirit of his people. First he notes that my love is at the Burn of Hallaig/

He uses imagery of trees repeatedly to link the people and the place:

  • she is a birch, a hazel,/ a straight slender young rowan.
  • their daughters and their sons are a wood/ going up beside the stream
  • the girls a wood of birches,/ straight their backs, bent their heads.

The poet suggests the people and the native trees are physically similar. He compares their build and their posture. This strengthens the link between people and place.