Tuesday 14 March 2023

The Little Book of Gaiku by Alistair Young


I recently started learning Scottish Gaelic (you can read more about that here). I was delighted to find this wee book of photos of the Scottish landscape with accompanying Gaelic haiku and English translations.

Alistair Young is based on the Isle of Skye, and his wonderful photos capture the wild beauty of this island and other parts of Scotland.

This is a beautifully designed and produced small book. Each page contains a landscape photo accompanied by a haiku in Gaelic with the English translation. 

The haiku celebrate the beauty of the landscape and the wildlife to be found there. The haiku below comments on the windfarms increasingly to be found in Scotland's wild places: 

nì crònag-dealain
an-fhloran as ainnimh
eadar-lìon rudan

the hum of electric voices
plundering power from wilderness
the internet of things

I particularly like this haiku about the Snow Bunting, a small bird of the wild high places: 

teachdair an t-àm
fiadhaich furachadh
gealag an t-sneachda 

harbinger of the
wild colding season
little snowflake

There is also an introductory essay in English. I would have liked to see the introduction also in Gaelic to give equal status to the two languages. Other than that, this is a lovely book for anyone who loves the Scottish landscape or haiku. 

You can browse Alistair's photos on his website

The Little Book of Gaiku by Alistair Young, published 2017.

1 comment:

Jenn Jilks said...

What a great thing to learn!