Biography

Robert Garioch (1909 - 1981) : Robert Garioch (1909 - 1981) : alias of Robert Garioch Sutherland, was born in Edinburgh in 1909 and educated at the local Royal High School and University. During the Second World War, he served in North Africa and was a prisoner-of-war in Germany and Italy. Later, he taught in schools in Edinburgh, London and Kent and retired in 1964. He returned to Edinburgh where he was Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University, and a “lexicographers’ orraman” at the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue.

He was deeply rooted in the Scots tradition, and lamented the decline of the use of Scots “in the ordinary way of life”.

He uses both a pungent language dismissing the pompous and pretentious, as well as the aureate style of the 15th century Makars. Among his best-known works are the poems dealing with his native Edinburgh, such as In Princes Street Gairdens. He emphasised his admiration for and indebtedness to Robert Fergusson in his poems To Robert Fergusson and At Robert Fergusson’s Grave.

He produced various translations from the French, Greek and Latin, and published one autobiography, Two Men and a Blanket, about his experiences as a prisoner-of-war. His main work was, however, poetry, which he initially published jointly with Sorley MacLean. He died in 1981.