Poetry Map

We all know poems about Scotland but can the shape and nature of Scotland be drawn entirely in poetry? StAnza has set itself the challenge to see if this is the case. Find out more about the project and how to submit your poem by clicking here, or browse the poems using the map. Latest poems are listed below.

Poetry Map of Scotland poem no. 57: Glasgow

Monday 29 September 2014, 08:32

Social Climbing
(The Bearsden/Drumchapel Divide)

Up Pendicle hill. One morning,
could have been the first of May,
chasing dewdrops to wash my face in,
put on a bright new skin.

I couldn’t have been more than fourteen.

Leaving at my back the sandy flats
of Connolly’s desert.
Walking to Bearsden
With a thirst for ambrosia.

I can’t believe I’m fifty-four.

It’s a long climb up Pendicle
when you’re rolling this stone.
Still shaking the sand out of my shoes,
the quick and the dead.

 

Carol McKay
Social Climbing was published in Cutting Teeth magazine in 2001

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. 56: Rackwick, Orkney

Sunday 28 September 2014, 08:37

Ghost
for John Bremner

Cradled between rose cliff, churning sea and vast open sky
Our valley dreamed away the centuries, brimming with hope and honey.
Crofter wrestled wave and wind, wrought bere-stalk and a living;
Lobster tangled with creel, dying for the giving.
Sea and land riches fed our bones well - forever, I thought.

I grew. I left. I died.
Now: here, a roof fallen,
There, another resurrected for the new tranquillity-seeker.

Croft and fish forsaken; still stone and curlew linger,
And Craa-nest, grey-green, melts into its hill,
A museum-jar of our lives, for the curious wanderer
And the odd homesick ghost.

Sue Mara

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. 55: River Annan

Thursday 25 September 2014, 07:21

The Minister’s Pool

It wasn’t just the downhill run,
flung flying along the wooded path,
that pulled us to the river every summer
as soon as the trees wore soft green,
wild garlic flowered, the sky as blue as mattered.
The water shocking, but survivable with many tries,
or one brave plunge.

It wasn’t just the life-thick cold current that tugged us,
kept trying to drag us to the pool
across the shallows
from our chest-deep swimming place.
The safe place, where soft weed and slippy algae
cushioned stones for our timid feet
that curious minnows nibbled, tickled.
The edge was never far.

It wasn’t just the lurking corner whirlpool of local lore
that scared the swimming power right out of me,
the pool’s depth renowned, greater with every telling.
The cold like a spell to pull me fish-deep,
as I gasped and fought to keep the surface,
the dark concealing primal fears, unspeakable
but with a stronger lure than adults’ warnings
could hold me from.

It wasn’t just its safety
that drew you to the sandstone ledge you’d reach
if you dared to cross and push and pull
yourself right out the sucking water
into the shadow of the massive, ancient,
overhanging oak tree, to seek a warm spot.
Exhausted, weed-specked,
heavy as a new-born.

 

Katy Ewing
Previously published in Southlight 12

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

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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. 54: Aberdeen

Wednesday 24 September 2014, 08:10

Aberdeen
(After Epithets by Jamie McKendrick)

Aberdeen the isolate, the quartz-worked-with-difficulty, the obdurate,
the sea road to Zetland, the Apardjon of Morkinskinna, the salt-breathed,
the grey, the scarlet-gowned, the double-universitied, the black-golded,
the helicoptered, the 'unclean' of '64, the low maintenance stone sheen, the solid.

Aberdeen the butteried, the bon accord-ed, the ashet-assiette, the bosie,
the river-girdled, the haar-happed, the kirn of beast and fish mart,
the reckless siller granite-howked, the fit, faa and foo sounds, the heck,
the owsen sic words the same in Flanders-spik, gied up by merchant men.

Aberdeen the sceptical, the wide light elliptical, the dirty scuttering gull
harboured, the saft green, the egostical, the glittering lat thame say!
the hard blaze of mica schist, the trysting cornered Monkey House.

Aberdeen the transient, the tender, the Piper-Alpha-melted-hard-hats
the paper-machied, the fechtin, warslin, singin place, the blunt spik,
the spare Gothic-ribbed, the durable; roch and weet and sweet.

 

Sheila Templeton
Previously published in Digging For Light (2010)

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. 53: Iona

Tuesday 23 September 2014, 07:57

Iona

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

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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. 52: Anstruther

Monday 22 September 2014, 17:55

Maggie Lauder - Anster Fair

(Excerpt - the full poem runs to 3544 lines)

While some of Troy and pettish heroes sing,
And some of Rome and chiefs of pious fame,
And some of men that thought it harmless thing
To smite off heads in Mar’s bloody game,
And some of Eden’s garden gay with spring,
And Hell’s dominions terrible to name, --
I sing a theme far livelier, happier, gladder,
I sing of ANSTER FAIR, and bonny MAGGIE LAUDER.

What time from east, from west, from south, from north,
From every hamlet, town and smoky city,
Laird, clown and beau, to Anster Fair came forth,
The young, the gay, the handsome, and the witty,
To try in various sport and game their worth,
Whilst prize before them MAGGIE sat, the pretty,
And after many a feat, and joke, and banter,
Fair MAGGIE’s hand was won by mighty ROB the RANTER.

William Tennant (1784-1848)
Suggested by Iain Gray

William Tennant was born in Anstruther. He started his career as a village schoolmaster, but ended it as Professor of Oriental Languages at St Andrews.

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