Patrick Wright: Hamish Henderson, 3 November 2011
Show More Hamish Henderson: A Biography. Vol. I: The Making of the Poet (1919-53) by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 416 pp., £14.99, May 2009, 978 1 84697 132 7Show More
Hamish Henderson: A Biography. Vol. II: Poetry Becomes People (1954-2002) by Timothy Neat.
Polygon, 395 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 1 84697 063 4Show More
“... There are those, even among his friends, who remember Hamish Henderson as a chaotic figure who could most often be found soliloquising in Sandy Bell’s, a favourite pub near Edinburgh University. Was he one of the ‘lowest of men’, spilling whisky and sliding off his stool as he launched into another ballad? Or was he a seer, defying body and convention to ‘soar like an eagle’ in the way of the blessed inebriate in Richard Thompson’s song ‘God Loves a Drunk’ (‘His shouts and his curses they are just hymns and praises/To kick-start his mind now and then’)? Timothy Neat writes not in order to leave his late friend in a heap on the floor, least of all the floor of the hostelry that Henderson had long since helped to establish as ‘the hub of the Scottish Folk Revival ...”