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. 225: Isle of Cumbrae

Tuesday 20 October 2015, 18:43

Home is a thousand miles away

Every time I dream of Cumbrae,
I’m at the ferry terminal
without a ticket and the clock
of St Columba’s shows ten past the hour.

I buy a ticket, but the hands
have moved on by five quick minutes
and the ferry has left, strict to the last,
every time I dream of Cumbrae.

 

Eilidh Barnes

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.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 224: Achiltibuie

Sunday 18 October 2015, 10:12

Chrissie Gittins
From I’ll Dress One Night as You

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 223: Claggain Bay, Islay

Saturday 17 October 2015, 10:58

Claggain Bay: Islay

The pebbled beach is boulder-strewn, the sea
blue-green, Argyll a smudge upon the sky;
few sounds: some screaming mother terns, maybe
a lowing cow, the breeze, a buzzard’s cry:
the dramatis personae of the scene
that hold me in their thrall. The stones are dry,
the tide will polish them to jewelled sheen.
I click the shutter then I wonder why
I violate this wholeness with my snaps
when it’s already fixed in my mind’s eye.
Why not just sit here, like the stones perhaps?
I lay the camera down and down I lie.

A hare appears; a black cloud passes;
air stirs the golden seed heads of the grasses.

 

Tom Sommerville

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.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 222: Westray, Orkney

Friday 16 October 2015, 16:49

The North is wur home, but is the sea wur freend?

Hid deudno seem that wey the streen.

Whitna’ freend wid himmer doon the door
Haeve salt apae the windows
Dad the shaws aff the tatties
Rummel doon the dykes
Fleud the new girse
And tak back the tangles wae’d gathered all winter?

…but this morneen

Glimmeran and sheenan’
Lappan quietly under the banks
Fleud tide clearan awey the tang
Nee more bruck fae the ebb
Six bonnie skiffs settan oot tae sail
Gae’an us ceuithes fur wur supper..

…a freend indeed.

 

Fiona Cowan

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.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 221: Sanday, Orkney

Thursday 15 October 2015, 16:43

Chambered Cairn, Quoyness

The passage is three feet high:
on your knees in the seething dark you enter.
In the corbelled chamber’s space
you uncoil and stand earth-fast at the centre.

The silence sings in your ears.
On an inch of paper you write the three runes
of your name, bind it with hair
and hide it in a crevice between the stones.

Ama Bolton

 

Previously published in The Listening Walk, 2013

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.

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Poetry Map of Scotland, poem no. 220: Portobello

Tuesday 13 October 2015, 16:56

Portobello Strand

We come to this northern shore to be polite —
to share in this finished, open health,
this slow-walking, seagull-shot spirit-calm
and leave our poisoned arias behind —
the banal, internecine brutality,
the choking, distending messes
of our exploited home countries —
for a chance at this semi-salt clean.

Brazilians check festival tickets,
Poles serve up fried haddock and chips
with ketchup at Portobello strand
where even the bees demure from stinging.

We come here — Chinese, Tibetans, Nepalese,
Muslim Indians, Christian Pakistanis

for Noble Leisure! Prize Bingo!
walking this wide, untrammelled bay
gripping white moccasins in one jewelled hand.

A blank blade of paper's running crosswise
cutting through fevered muscle memory —
clutted-up disenfranchisement,
stiff, bloated, wracking despair
some Portuguese how-to-get-in-touch-with-you's
are languidly transversing — paper
soaking up wound-energy in pools
just by virtue of its blankness passing through,
pain forming fine new patterns on the page
as of words written there by agency

satisfying a cyclical urge for nuance
mature as October sunset, its tree-line
ribboning the glen-side umber and auburn —
colours singing the sky's longing for earth
in their very leaves' crippling, their colour-blood
perfectly, aesthetically spilling down.

This was the method of Job's tears,
building castles by dribbling sand.

Sometimes worshippers march, creating holes,
little rips in the space-time continuum
through which they would grab baser glories.

"Even so, Beloved, I at last record,
Here ends my strife. If thou invite me forth,
I rise above abasement at the word.
Make thy love larger to enlarge my worth."

 

Andrew Singer

(Quote is from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese)

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