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. 261: the Forth Rail Bridge

Wednesday 2 March 2016, 07:38
Fife Fugue
 
on fallow ground at the edge of the barley
four horses lie down (one foal, one tossing)
 
blue willows retouch a blue-grey sky
as if Matisse had set them free
 
from their Pompeii fresco in a calque
of sorts, olive trees transmuted
 
in this Northern reach to willows rising
from basalt limbs, the same dense-crystalled
 
rock it seems
that shaped the Bay
of Naples’ basal rings
 
ripening fields sparkle past
lit by rapid streaks of goldenrod
 
flimsy stands of willow herb
swirl on by like candy floss
 
lining Burntisland’s serried tenements
a dozen neat lanrigs lap at the track
 
now the slate waters of the Forth
open up, whip up low-flying swallows
 
to skim the skerries off Kinghorn
 
now a clunky meander
round squat green volcanoes
 
and the bridge’s triple iron husks
put me in mind of a gladiator ad ludum
 
the caged lion’s roar, the tiger’s
swift swipe through hexagonal bars
 
at the nose of this carriage
headed for Edinburgh
 
Madeleine Campbell

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. 260: Dundee

Friday 26 February 2016, 20:41

Site of the New V&A Building, Dundee, in Fog

 

mud and rough gravel debris -
cranes that climb high, high
into the fog overhead
and disappear -
it's a struggle to see
you here
(the pictures always set you
in summer, in sunshine -
your silver slats splintering
from your ship-shaped sides
are always
sparkling
mirroring
almost too bright to see
almost too bright to believe)
 
Joan Lennon

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. 259: Mousa

Wednesday 24 February 2016, 07:57
Voices in Mousa Broch
 
Part IV:
 
When you stoop in our doorways
you will feel we were small.
Measure our fear
by the wall's thickness.
 
The gulls that nest
each year where we lived
leave no less behind.
Our stone benches
took no impress.
 
In the shadows
of low-roofed cells
you guess at us,
around the bends
of narrow stairways.
 
But all you know
is the hollow in the millstone
and a white midden
of empty seashells.
 
Sheenagh Pugh
 

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. 258: Hawick

Tuesday 23 February 2016, 07:52
Thoughts from Drumlanrig's Tower
 
The changeable jewel of the sky surrounds
Our panoramic hills and brooks.
It clothes the rooves that shield our homes,
Gilds the fields and skims the woods,
Lights the cliffs and waters the downs
Of the Scottish Borders: below the calm,
We rest in the dark of the valley's palm,
The only town for miles around.
 
At common-riding time they hang up bunting,
Rows of blue and gold, and chant old songs.
When the horses come, a hundred strong,
They cheer them on, their faces bright with sun,
And toddlers clap their hands to see their fathers
Riding by, the neat hats of their mums
Made in colours bright as parrot-feathers.
 
Hawick charmed me with its smallness, how the sky
Cradles with one blue arm its curvature
Of hills, the compass to its high horizon,
Each tree a guard, each barn a watchtower,
Each flower grown by someone I know, or ought to.
 
The orient pearls of the clouds dissolve as
Gently as frost returns to meltwater -
Soon the leafy shoulders of the Borders,
Green on gold, will offer us a fortress,
Trembling as the stars recede to darkness.
Soon a sunlit net will fall upon us,
Hillsides bustle softly with the sound
Of the only town for miles around.
 
Sara Clark

 

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. 257: the Forth Bridge

Thursday 18 February 2016, 08:02
Solids and Gaps

National Galleries of Scotland image

The bridge, though in no Bible, often makes 

a Christian symbol, as in pontifex.

Painting the Forth Bridge, though outfacted, still
means the done staying not done that always will.

Photographing the Forth Bridge in stereo,
when the bridge had had thirteen years' existence,
conjures? allows? depicts? recreates? -- though
monochrome, steel -- a looking in the distance.

 

Aidan Baker

To connect with StAnza's focus on architecture in 2016, we invited poems for the map which connect with buildings or structures in Scotland and are posting Aidan Baker's poem about the Forth Bridge as the first of these. Aidan's poem, along with half a dozen or so others, will also feature during the festival in the windows of shops and businesses in and around St Andrews as part of our Poetry Graffiti for StAnza 2016.

 

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. 256: Loch Morlich

Wednesday 30 December 2015, 06:14
Loch Morlich
 
Dawn spreads warm fingers over granite
long since ground down, pink in morning light.
By the time we arrive the gilded peaks
of Shepherd’s hill are mirrored in the loch.
 
You and Tara dig, bent double, intently,
like Klondike miners searching for gold
or some small treasure, coloured glass, a feather
to be taken home and shown off proudly.
 
Chubby sand- covered knees are washed 
by lapping waters, we drowse in the midday heat. 
Sunlight working off sand, glinting off spade,
while soft fleet clouds pass stately overhead.
 
Jill Thomson

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