Books and Publications
Brainheart & Scotland the Brain
First published as Brainheart, Scotland the Brain is now on-line as an Amazon Kindle as an ebook.
To Purchase The Scotland the Brain, click on the image.
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This a salutation in Paraig's innovative rhyming system called the 'Metrical Mirror'. In this book we laud 101 Great Scots who have changed the world. This is constructed in 101 individual 40 line rhyming couplets lauding a selection of Great Scots in order of date of birth, all born before 1900 AD. There is also a prologue and epilogue added, totalling 4.120 line of rhyme. On each introductory page, set out just before each eulogy, there is a short biog and a numbered glossary/explication, referencing and cross referencing line numbers. For quicker reference there is an extensive index at the end of the book.
This work is designed to serve both as performance poetry and as an educational aid, revealing the great Scottish innovators who have left their mark on the human race. The book includes inventors in technology, engineering, science, mathematics, transportation, communication, political philosophy, founders of new nations, missionaries and slavery abolitionists, explorers, inventors of domestic appliances, and many many more. In this book we have everything from the bicycle to the founders of the USA, from the postage stamp to the television etc etc. Appendixed are '34 original ‘Novel Riddles’ which
reflecting the content of this work. The Novel-Riddles are original rhyming riddles whereby the hearer or reader has to guess the invention or innovation.
“This is a book that has to be read; there should be copy in every household. It provides profound insights into a phenomenon that is sweeping the land. A phenomenon that comes in many guises: some beneficent; many sinister. It tells us about nationalism. In particular it focuses in on Scottish culture and shows that this can and should be celebrated without denigrating others… “
Dr. Gerard Hastings, Professor of Social Marketing, Stirling University (10:06:2008)
Excerpt - lines 4041 - 4120
Without the explications/glossaries/biogs etc, here is the last Brainheart in this volume:
Note the unique Metrical Mirror rhyming system, which is used throughout the 4120 line epic. Scotland the Brain: - 101 Great Scots who changed the world, encased between both Prologue and Epilogue.
Try reading this out loud and think of double-ply weave.
All heroes in this epic poem were born before the year 1900. Below is the last 80 lines of the epic with No. 101 John Grierson, followed by the Epilogue :
Excerpt - lines 4041 - 4120:
100 JOHN GRIERSON 1898 - 1972
...Wha surely captured life sae raw
tae view by dark, through light for aw,
tae find mair knowledge, filling scenes
sae bright and braw, on siller screen
tae bill revealing facts and factors,
where working people star, and actors
ne’er cast for parts, do ne’er appear,
but have a back-seat, yet revere
their zealous peers’ unspun devices,
but Perthshire’s Deanston’s son, wha’s splices
wid spurn, in spite o’ mammon’s minions,
new worlds tae widen man’s opinion,
and start dominions, wrought through candour,
tae smash aw dismal propaganda
that gnawed like cancer, driving deep
in long massages, sighing ‘sleep’.
So fiery, fearsome, firm in heart,
defiant Grierson ripped apart
aw films, tae start a complementary,
and gritty art, cawed documentary,
that rocked the nest o’ flicks and features,
in falcon-fervour, pitched wi’ preacher’s
great gifts, where hero films shown like
the Drifters, gleaned frae fishers’ lives,
wid shift the lines o’ demarcation
within his times, tae reach the nations
through reel or station, route or ray,
tae steal the sway in USA,
and truly change beliefs in Britain,
then prune the maple leaf wi’ fittin’
great steely wit, and smart inventions,
tae deal wi’ wimpish art pretensions,
for ‘Art is ne’er’, said he, ‘a mirror,
but hammer, weapon, even stirrer’.
So Grierson stirred that nation oft
on screen, tae win, like Baird and Watt
the Aryan war, tae be sent hame,
yet made his cause on TV famed
ten years, tae bear the loyal face,
o’ Griogar ’s brave and royal race.
...So aw ye raise yer glass in wonder,
tae Scots by name wha dashed asunder
and smashed like thunder aw conventions,
tae grant for us such braw inventions,
yet sought nae mention on the roll
o’ honour, yet wi’ honest soul
aye wrought a whole and awesome age
where song and story, on the stage
now ought tae play its part in corners,
tae laud the brain wi’ heart tae scorners
o’er Alban’s borders, set wi’ sessions
and banish cauld dark hell’s depression
that stems expression, light and hope
and help repressed great minds tae cope
and find mair hope within the nation,
inciting soul-felt innovation,
and kill that blame-condemning culture
where guilt and shame does send its vultures
tae vent and thrust their fiery finger,
tae test yer trust in lying figures,
for whilst they lift their nail, they’ll see
inside their fist there rails but three
tae stare and jeer back at their face
and sair reveal their dark disgrace.
So harken faithfu’ fellow Scot;
take heart! wi’ brain! and search this pot
or well o’ Scotland’s mighty thinkers,
and dwell in awe tae bide unblinkered
inside its mirror, reaping health,
tae find yer inner hero self,
and lift by verse those Celtic sages,
for in their debt we’ll dwell o’er ages,
for every page here proves as such,
that never hae sae few, sae much
in truth by numbers, touched sae many,
nor proved their worth, nor love than any.
So come on then ye wise-fools aw!
the tunnels end does cry, so wha
will rise! and wha will roose what’s sown!
that’s nigh, in Scotland new, yet known?
"...By honouring those on whose shoulders we stand, MacNeil translates their spirit forward into tomorrow's world. That is what sustains life in a peoples and their nation. I commend this book."
Alastair McIntosh, Visiting Professor of Human Ecology, University of Strathclyde, author of Soil an Soul and Hell and High Water)