Ayont the Dyke



SKU: 978 1 902944 28 9 Categories: ,


"These feisty, lithe, little poems prove that Aonghas Dubh, Kettillonia, and the collection of linguistic phenomena known as the Scots tongue are all very much alive and kicking". (Christie Williamson, Sphinx)

"Terrific stuff" (Helena Nelson, Sphinx)

Borders-based Skyeman Aonghas MacNeacail, now a senior figure in Scottish literature, has been publishing poems in Gaelic and English for over forty years, and winning prizes including the Scottish Writer of the Year award for Oideachadh Ceart (A Proper Schooling) in 1997. Forthcoming publications apart from this pamphlet of poems in Scots include a New and Selected edition of his Gaelic poetry and, later, a new collection of poems in English.

The poems in Ayont the Dyke, lyrical but challenging, carry echoes of the Scots voices of fishermen from the north-east which he heard in childhood long before he encountered spoken English. There is too in MacNeacail's work a MacDiarmid-like willingness to seek out rare, rich words and their subtle meanings, and this gives these poems both an economy and expansiveness that is fresh, stimulating and uncommon in contemporary Scots verse.


luve an natur 

as gress is thirlit til the grun
an laverock's sang's skire as the lift
as saumon's jinkin micht be watter
as cloods are plaidie til the sun
as wattergaw binds sun an shour
as cauld strinds kiss the sleekie stanes
as swans bide leal intil cauld daith
as mou is merrit til the chaft
as wurd an soun are yin in ballants
as rose gangs wi the pyke, my luve
an pyke gangs wi the maist douce rose
as christ gangs wi his cross
an buddha wi his thochts
as luve's gate gangs throu hert an bane
tae wice us throu this flichtrife warld
luve's virr in oor bricht een still lauchs
this sang is faur frae owre yet


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