Record

CodeNA8732
Dates1915-1975
Person NameSmith; Sydney Goodsir (1915-1975); poet
SurnameSmith
ForenamesSydney Goodsir
Epithetpoet
ActivitySydney Goodsir Smith (1915-1975), poet and artist, was born in Wellington, New Zealand, on 26 October 1915 and moved to Edinburgh in 1927 when his father was appointed to the Chair of Forensic Medicine at Edinburgh University. He was educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, and though he abandoned his study of medicine at the former and was expelled from Oriel College at the latter, he did obtain an M.A. in history in 1937. After graduation he settled in Edinburgh. During the Second World War he taught Polish troops English. In the early 1940s Smith began to publish books of his poetry - at first in English, then later on, following MacDiarmid's example, in Scots. 'Skail Wind' (1941) was followed by 'The Wanderer and Other Poems' (1943), and in 1948 he published the poem-sequence 'Under the Eildon Tree'. 'Kynd Kittock's Land' (1965) is a later example of his inclination towards this type of poetic work. His writing included various collections of shorter poems such as 'So Late into the Night' (1952); 'Figs and Thistles' (1959), and 'Collected Poems' (1975), plays, the best-known of which is 'The Wallace', (1960), and prose work amongst which is the experimental novel 'Carotid Cornucopius' (1947). He died in Edinburgh in 1975.
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