HEM AND HEID: Ballads, Sangs, Saws, Poems



SKU: 978 1 902944 26 5 Categories: ,


"Simply a delight" - James Roderick Burns

These poems and translations, written over the course of a decade, cross centuries, continents and cultures, transmitting signals and carrying echoes as they go. From the Old Testament to René Magritte, from Joni Mitchell to Saint Sebastian, from the slave trade to Wounded Knee, they explore the legacies of myth, legend, history and art, and articulate their findings in a rich and literate Scots that is both mindful of the past and ambitious for the future.



The heron is the cannie bird
That wears the hodden grey,
And neither fykes nor fashes
As he gangs aboot his day.

He stalks the lochs and rivers
Wi his breeks abune his knees,
And his yella ee on somethin
That nae ither craitur sees.

Aw that he kens wis kent lang syne
Afore the warld wis auld,
When scaly beasts wi muckle horns
Amang its forests crawled,

And through the steamin, sweltrie smirr,
Oot ower the teemin braes,
His gash and ghaistly ancestor
Gaed beatin through the haze.

The heron is an unco bird,
Appearin like a wraith
Tae merk the passages o life
And dip his heid at daith:

A hamely, steady kind o chiel,
And doutless little worth;
But his wings beat like the beatin
O the engine o the earth.



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