Blogging from A to Z Challenge: M is for Makar


a-to-z-letters-mI’m in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the month of April.  I need your help!  To meet this challenge, I’ll be doing one post a day, working through the alphabet.

Your job is to comment and keep me motivated!  Let me know you’re out there and following along.  Can she make it?  Will she?  Of course she will!  With you as my cheering section, I won’t be stumped by J or Q or even X.

So without further ado, here is today’s post.

M is for Makar.  Yes, I thought we’d learn a new word today.  Makar.  A poet, a bard, a school of poetry begun in the Middle Ages in Scotland, often meant to refer to the royal or court poet.   

In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Makar innovations in poetry included bringing into the local language new and greater variety of poetic structures from Europe.

James I, the likely author of the Kingis Quair, describing the King’s capture and imprisonment by the English in 1406, is said to be the first Makar.  He ruled in the 15th century.   

Dunbar's The Goldyn Targe in the Chepman and Myllar Prints of 1508. (National Library of Scotland)

Dunbar’s The Goldyn Targe in the Chepman and Myllar Prints of 1508. (National Library of Scotland)

But the court of James IV, who was something of a Rennaissance man (see J is for James), is said to be the high point of the Makar movement. For example, The Thrissil and the Rois is a poem composed by William Dunbar to mark the 1503 wedding of James IV to Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII.  Dunbar is commemorated in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum in Edinburgh.

When James VI took the Scottish court to London in 1603 (becoming James 1 of England), the form began to fall out of favor.  But it did not fade away completely.

Edinburgh instituted a post of Edinburgh Makar in 2002.  Glasgow, Stirling and Aberdeen also have Makar posts.  A position of national poet laureate, entitled The Scots Makar, was established in 2004 by the Scottish Parliament. 

Interested in finding the other nearly 2000 blogs participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?  Click on the title, then scroll down to find the sign-up list.

tax_day_blog_hopToday is also the one-day-only Tax Day Relief  Blog Hop by RomCon. Leave a comment HERE and you might win a Kindle copy of Highland Healer!  Click on the RomCon link to find the other blogs participating. Comment at and you are automatically entered to win one of twenty-five 50% off coupons to RomCon® 2013!

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6 comments on “Blogging from A to Z Challenge: M is for Makar

  1. I’m a big fan of anything Scottish. Especially poetry.

    Happy A to Z blogging.

  2. SheriV says:

    I love all things Scottish!

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  3. Tina B says:

    I learned a new word as well. :)
    Interesting. I could imagine that A to Z blogging would be difficult, especially if something comes up. Do you do you posts for the whole week, several days in advance, or daily?
    Happy Tax Day! Thank you for the chance to read one of your books. It sounds like a wonderful read! I love those Highlanders! ;)
    trb0917 at

    • willablair says:

      Tina B, The A to Z Challenge is a lot of fun, but I like challenges. I’ve had posts scheduled as much as a week ahead and as little as a day ahead. I prefer being a week ahead!

      I hope you’ll enjoy Highland Healer and, when it comes out later this year, Highland Seer.

  4. Very Interesting. I haven’t studied these times but my daughter is really involved in role playing the Tudors. Great information.
    Visiting from A to Z.

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