Death of Professor Derick Thomson

Derick Thomson and Iain Crichton Smith

Derick Thomson with Iain Crichton Smith

Derick died aged 90 on 21 March 2012. His enormous contribution to Gaelic culture has been recorded in the press. My own special memory is taking him back to the Isle of Lewis with Iain Crichton Smith to make a BBC Radio feature in 1995. Iain’s death in 1998 was marked by the poem ‘Farewell’, which you can find on the Taking You Home page of this web site. Joining it now is the poem for Derick, recorded to ‘The Company’s Lament’, with Gary West on Pipes and Wendy Stewart on Scottish Harp, from their CD ‘Hinterlands’

See: www.wendystewart.co.uk
www.garywest.co.uk

Ruaraidh MacThòmais 1921 – 2012

Mar a’ churracag a’ ruith ‘s a’ stad, sin mar a bha
do shiubhal; ag èisteachd an-còmhnaidh ri ceòl na gaoithe
bho d’ òig’ ann an Leòdhas, do chuimhne air mòine,
fraoch, machair is tràigh nan ulbhag basalt. Na ciad fhaclan,
Beurla bhod athair, fhad ‘s a sheinn do mhàthair
o stòras biota na Gàidhlig; cha chumadh brèid na ciste gallda
no a lìomh thu bhon rogha cànain seo
is fàileadh a’ bhàis bhuaipe, dust air an teangaidh. Geneva,
òran tuiridh, oir b’ e teine an-iochdmhor am peacadh,
a loisg tròcair is gàire, coinneal mhillte air fhàgail
do dhualchas. Ann an seo bha ciste
le d’ òrain fhèin, cho blàth ris an fhàd
air an do chuir thu do chas, gad gharadh aig teine a’ chèilidh.
A’ chlàrsach chreachte nis na h-aonar air an tràigh, teudan
gan tarraing gu sgileil, fo-oirfeid na gaoithe do shuala na mara.
Fhad ‘s a nì a’ churracag ruith is stad, ruith is stad.

Maoilios Caimbeul