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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 290

Sunday 10 November 2019, 12:45

The Iolaire

After four years of brutal war eager to board the Iolaire
The boat laden with too many homeward sailing for Hogmanay

The fires were bright, their clothes airing food prepared, all for welcoming
In sight of home broken on rocks dragged down by sodden great coats

A wailing began as news came on carts we brought their bodies home
One lost her words, was mute, silenced we could no way be comforted

Religion gave the only grace singing psalms a keening in waves
It is why we are the way we are not easy for the survivors

Homeward sailing for Hogmanay the boat laden with too many
Eager to board the Iolaire after four years of brutal war

Mary Thomson

The Iolaire left Kyle of Lochalsh on 31 December 1918 for Stornoway, carrying naval reservists coming home on New Year's leave or demobbed from the Royal Navy. Early on the morning of 1 January 1919, approaching Stornoway in the dark, she struck the Beasts of Holm and was wrecked, with the loss of some 205 lives; only 75 passengers survived. Some of the words in the poem are the islanders own, taken from the BBC TV documentary “In Sight of Home: The Iolaire”

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 289

Saturday 2 November 2019, 14:13

Argyll November

 

The creel boat races before the whitecaps
The wren clings to the skeleton bough
The stars gone from the skies rammed black
Tonight we hear an older world growl
 
The cattle are come down off the high ground
The paths scoured bare by stiff leaves
The wind hammers through hard from Ireland
Tonight we may know little ease
 
The broad gusts are outrun by the rainclouds
The waves dissolve the sea to ragged foam
The loch washes up over the shore roads
Tonight we stand together alone
 
The forked coasts of the unflinching margin
The season remorseless in relentless change
The time for respite in safe harbour
Tonight we are at the end of our range
 
The haven reached and lone wreck overcome
The shelter shared from the gales and rain
That older world tells us through the trees and stones
Tonight we must put the stars back again.
 
Peter Russell

 

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

Book Week Scotland - Celebrate with StAnza at Toppings!

Saturday 26 October 2019, 21:08

Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of all things bookish. For 2019 it will take place from 18 to 24 November and we're delighted that this year StAnza are partnering Toppings Bookshop in St Andrews on Tuesday 19 November for an evening with the wonderful poet, John Glenday.

He will treat us to an evening of the poems he holds most dear in a celebration of committing poems to memory, and of carrying them through life. In the words of John’s poem, 'The Matchsafe': 'If you must carry fire, carry it in / your heart.'

Toppings Bookshop is at 7 Greyfriars Gardens, St Andrews, KY16 9HG. The event starts at 8pm and doors open at 7.40pm. You can find more information on the event, and a link to booking a seat at the following link:

The Matchsafe, an Evening of Poetry with John Glenday

Categories: News

Wigtown Poetry Prize - the Winners!

Monday 14 October 2019, 20:25

(c) Ruairi / Wigtown Book Festival

Last weekend StAnza was at Wigtown Book Festival enjoying various events as well as a wonderful evening at their Poetry Awards at Bladnoch Distillery. Congratulations again to the winners:

• Wigtown Prize: Mhairi Owens (winner), Claudia Daventry (runner up)
• Wigtown Scottish Gaelic Prize: Daibhidh Eyre (winner), Marcas Mac an Tuairneir (runner up).
• Wigtown Scots Prize: Dorothy Lawrenson (winner), Robert Duncan (runner up).
• Dumfries & Galloway Fresh Voice Award: Clare Phillips (winner)
• Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize: Beverley Bie Brahic (winner)

In local festival news, a reminder that the St Andrews Voices Festival runs from 17-20 October. Celebrating all that the human voice has to offer from jazz, folk, opera, choral, lieder to family events, it’s one not to miss!

 

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no 288

Sunday 13 October 2019, 13:34

Rose Moon from Portobello Beach

Four old women crane their necks
staring at the moon
rising blood-red from the sea
into the setting sun.

This is what it does
every fifty years or so
at summer solstice.

Last time they were young.

Sue Bard

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

October Poetry Round-Up

Sunday 13 October 2019, 12:24

Good morning. We have seen blue skies and sunshine here in Fife this weekend and the autumn colours are glowing. This autumn is offering plenty of poetry as well.

StAnza's own Anna Crowe is launching her new collection on 16 October at a Poetry Association of Scotland event at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. Information on all events at the Scottish Poetry Library at this link. Anna will also be reading with Stewart Conn on 19 October at Platform in Ladybank.

Later in October, come and enjoy poetry for autumn at St Andrews Botanic Gardens with the Dean Poets, Patricia Ace, Anna Crowe, Vicki Feaver, Stephanie Green, Paula Jennings and Jane McKie. This is a Sunday afternoon event on 27 October from 2.00pm to 4.30pm. There will be an interval when tea, coffee and cakes will be served as part of the admission price, and books may be bought.

Tickets £12 / £10 concession to Friends of the Garden and students

We are also keen to direct lots of attention to an event in St Andrews in November which follows our Arabic language events at StAnza this year. A fundraiser for for the charity, Embrace the Middle East takes place on Saturday 16 November at 7.30pm at St Leonard's Church, Donaldson Gardens, St Andrews. Douglas Dunn and Anna Crowe will be reading. Tickets available online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-reading-tickets-73124721009 or on the door: £10 or £5 for under 21s

Finally, if you haven't checked yet checked out The Arch, you can find our ebook featuring William Soutar poems online here.

‘Into the quiet of this room
Words from the clamorous world come:
The shadows of the gesturing year
Quicken upon the stillness here.’
 
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