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PART OF THE Scots, Whay-hay! ISSUE

‘We hear the voice of our passionate, proud and provocative country most truly in its poetry.’

It’s not too late to start with your resolutions for the new year, and a great one is to bring more poetry in your life. Pan Macmillan have made this easy with their brilliant collection A Year of Scottish Poems, bringing together 366 poems from Scotland’s poets, past and present, with many in Scots as well as standard English. We’ve got a few wee gems here for you now.

 

Extracts taken from A Year of Scottish Poems
Chosen by Gaby Morgan
Published by Pan Macmillan

 

Kidspoem / Bairnsang

it wis January
and a gey dreich day
the first day Ah went to the school
so my Mum happed me up in ma
good navy-blue napp coat wi the rid tartan hood
birled a scarf aroon ma neck
pu’ed oan ma pixie an my pawkies
it wis that bitter
said noo ye’ll no starve
gie’d me a wee kiss and a kid-oan skelp oan the bum
and sent me aff across the playground
tae the place Ah’d learn to say

it was January
and a really dismal day
the first day I went to school
so my mother wrapped me up in my
best navy-blue top coat with the red tartan hood
twirled a scarf around my neck
pulled on my bobble-hat and mittens
it was so bitterly cold
said now you won’t freeze to death
gave me a little kiss and a pretend slap on the bottom
and sent me off across the playground
to the place I’d learn to forget to say

it wis January
and a gey dreich day
the first day Ah went to the school
so my Mum happed me up in ma
good navy-blue napp coat wi the rid tartan hood
birled a scarf aroon ma neck
pu’ed oan ma pixie an ma pawkies
it wis that bitter.

Oh saying it was one thing
but when it came to writing it
in black and white
the way it had to be said
was as if you were posh, grown-up, male, English and dead.

Liz Lochhead

 

John Anderson my Jo

John Anderson my jo, John,
When we were first acquent;
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonny brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson my jo.

John Anderson my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither;
And mony a canty day, John,
We’ve had wi’ ane anither:
Now we maun totter doun, John,
And hand in hand we’ll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson my jo.

Robert Burns

 

Scottish Haiku

A bonny Ayrshire
chews the cud on Ben Nevis –
noo that’s a high coo!

John Rice

 

A Year of Scottish Poems, chosen by Gaby Morgan is published by Pan Macmillan, priced £12.99

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