John MacLean: Krassivy, Krassivy

John MacLean 24th August 1879- 30th November 1923.


Krassivy, Krassivy
by Hugh MacDiarmid

Scotland has had few men whose names
Matter- or should matter- to intelligent people,
But of these MacLean, next to Burns, was the greatest
But it should be of him, to every Scotsman and Scotswoman
To the end of time, as it was of Lenin in Russia.
When you might talk to a woman who had been
A young girl in 1917 and find that the name of Stalin lit no fires
But when you asked her if she had seen Lenin
Her eyes lighted up and her reply
Was the Russian word which means
Both beautiful and red.
Lenin, she said, was “krassivy, krassivy”.
John MacLean too was krassivy, krassivy
A description no other Scot has ever deserved.

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