Scottish Spleen

“Suirly aaready a Scots leid classic” – Lallans

A selection of Baudelaire’s prose poems translated into Scots by weel-kent Scottish poets. Edited by James W Underhill, Tom Hubbard & Stewart Sanderson.

**Out of Print**

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It wis the skailin o the New Year: a bourach o glaur and snaw, crossed by a thoosan caurs, skinklin wi trantlums and whigmaleeries, heezin wi wants and waes, the graund gyteness o a muckle toun that wid whummle the heid o the dourest, maist aesome hermit.

James Robertson, “A Jampher” (Un Plaisant)

First published posthumously in 1869, Charles Baudelaire’s groundbreaking Le Spleen de Paris (also known as Petits Poèmes en Prose) was the first literary work to identify itself as prose-poetry. Scottish Spleen presents a collection of those wee prose-poems in Scots, along with poetry from the better-kent Les Fleurs du Mal.

The poems here are offered in the voice of the individual translators, who present their own Baudelairean perspective and version of Scots. In the process they contribute to a long tradition of Scots re-appropriation of Baudelaire’s ecstatic poetry from the gutter – that magnificent poetry that ranges, in the words of James Underhill’s introduction, “from the heights of inspiration to the crass chaos of his dingy bedsit”.

Scottish Spleen features translations by some of Scotland’s finest Scots writers, including James Robertson, Sheena Blackhall, Rab Wilson, Christie Williamson, Tom Hubbard, James W Underhill, Walter Perrie, Robert R Calder and J Derrick McClure.

“Each produces a fresh, delightful interpretation.” – A short review from the Scots Language Centre

“Scottish Spleen is suirly aaready a Scots leid classic.” – Lallans 88, Simmer 2016

Spitting spleen into the streets – Gutter magazine, February 2016

Selected pages from Scottish Spleen (PDF)