Ten Poems from Scotland

Various Authors

These ten poems, selected and introduced by Don Paterson, offer a taste of the poetry of Scotland. Some explore ideas around identity and change, exile and belonging. Others focus on landscape and place, or are principally about language itself. As Don Paterson writes in the Introduction, Scottish poets “…excel, I think, at the anti-baroque: leaving words standing so sharp and stark and bold on the page that you can hear the wind whistle round them.” There is plenty of warmth and humanity here too and, to borrow from Burns, a joyous absence of anything too Rigidly Righteous.

“And I am here with my mammy’s
Bramble jam scones in my pocket.
The Firth is miles and I have come
Back to find Loch Thom maybe
In this light does not recognise me.”

from W. S. Graham, Loch Thom

Don Paterson is a poet, musician and academic. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews.

Cover illustration is by Edinburgh-based Iain McIntosh.


George Mackay Brown, ‘Countryman’
Robert Burns, ‘Address to the Unco Guid, or the Rigidly Righteous’
Carol Ann Duffy, ‘Originally’
Douglas Dunn, ‘Re-reading Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss and Other Stories’
Veronica Forrest-Thomson, ‘Phrase-Book’
John Glenday, ‘Etching of a Line of Trees’
W.S. Graham, ‘Loch Thom’
Kathleen Jamie, ‘The Graduates’
Hugh MacDiarmid, ‘Empty Vessel’
Jason Watts, ‘Mouse skeleton’

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