It has left a huge gap in people's lives that still has social implications.
One of the readers who nominated Norman's poem for the Poetry Archive commented that - "I too have often felt isolated from my own heritage.
The point of verse 1 is not that Mac Caig did not understand Gaelic ( he was already accustomed to that in Edinburgh ) it was the manner Julia spoke: very fast and very loud.
I believe he understood certain words by the time of the childhood visits in the 1930’s but Julia’s manner of speech made it impossible to respond.
© the estate of Norman Mac Caig from The Scottish Poetry Library This week is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Norman Mac Caig, one of Scotland's foremost poets, so I thought it was fitting to have one of his poems to celebrate the life and work of a poet whose poetry is gradually slipping out of view beyond the Scottish borders.
'Aunt Julia' is one of my favourites partly because it depicts such a wonderful character, (I can see her strong foot/stained with peat) and partly because it identifies one of the most tragic aspects of Scottish history.
Worth reading “Return to Scalpay” - written in September 1972 and published in 1974 - which describes a visit Mac Caig made to the island in the summer of 1970.
Scalpay in the 1930’s - the period the poem describes - was an island whose natural language was Gaelic.
The last lines could serve equally as a eulogy for the poet.
Hey guys, I am currentlyy studying 'Aunt Julia' By Norman Mac Caig, for my national 5 english and I had a few questions I would love to get some advice on from someone who have either studied or is studying right now.