With reference to Shores and at least one other by Sorley MacLean, consider the ways in which an intimate relationship with the poems' settings are presented to highlight a particular theme.
In Shores, MacLean uses the line "measuring sand, grain by grain" to demonstrate how much time he is willing to spend in the landscape, and draws a direct connection between the poet and the grains of sand in the beach, showing his intimate relationship with his surroundings.
Another example is "I would put up a synthesis of love for you / the ocean and the sand", where enjambment is used to highlight the connection between the poet's love, and the surrounding setting.
In An Autumn Day, the poet also demonstrates an intimate relationship with the setting when describing the North African landscape during war, highlighting the contrast between the terrors of war and the beauty of nature.
- The introduction of "On that slope / on an autumn day" immediately introduces the theme of the landscape by talking about the setting in terms of nature, without mentioning the much more urgent topic of the battle being fought. This shows the poet's close connection to the setting at the time of the event.
- "on the sand which was so comfortable / easy and kindly" shows the friendliness and peacefulness of the landscape in contrast to the raging war.
- "and under the stars of Africa, / jewelled and beautiful" again demonstrates the beauty and tranquility of the setting at night-time, were it not for the war superimposed atop the setting.
In Kinloch Ainort, the poet also shows an intimate relationship with the setting with vast, expansive and vivid descriptions of the glaciated upland landscape, emphasising the tranquility and beauty of the setting while also hinting at its aggressive and violent past and formation.
- "A company of mountains" can either be interpreted as social company, or as a militaristic connotation - either way showing the close connection between the setting and humanity.
- The assonance in "great garth of growing" emphasises the vastness of the landscape, and how it diminishes anyone in its presence.
- The personification in "coming on with a fearsome roaring" again draws connections between the intimidation of the surrounding landscape, and the aggression of humanity.