In the year of the Homecoming, you don’t need to go far to hear mention of Scottish poetry - 2009 is also the year of Robert Burns’ 250th birthday. But that’s not to say that poetry is only in Scotland’s past - as Daniel Bourner explores in his new essay.
Robert Burns may not have written bad poetry, but Dundee's William McGonagall certainly did. Widely regarded as one of the worst poets in the English language, McGonagall's work still holds a certain charm, as demonstrated in this poem on Robert Burns.
A short extract from an eighteenth-century Gaelic poem is featured this week. The Birlinn of Clanranald was written by poet Alexander MacDonald, also known as Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair.
BooksfromScotland.com has taken an international perspective this week, choosing a poem from the Caribbean island of St Vincent. The poem, Flight of the Firstborn, is featured in the Scottish Poetry Library's Commonwealth anthology, Poems United.
Robert Fergusson was one of Scotland's most influential but least recognised Scottish poets. He lived a short life as a clerk in Edinburgh - he died aged just 24. But he was one of the major influences of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns. We feature the poem The Daft Days.
William McGonagall is widely regarded as Scotland's worst poet, but he is not without his charms. Dundee-born poet WN Herbert has been inspired by McGonagall's Ode To The Tay Bridge in this poem, Ode to the 'New' Tay Bridge.
As part of our coverage of Burns Night 2007, we present one of the Bard's less-quoted love poems, Highland Mary. Robert Burns is very much a Lowland poet, from Ayrshire and living most of his life there and in Dumfries, but even he understood the charms of the Highlander.
Born in Cambuslang, near Glasgow, in 1933, Duncan Glen first came to notice in 1964 with his book on Hugh MacDiarmid and the Scottish Renaissance. In our Poem of the Week, Glen pays tribute to MacDiarmid in Thinking of Hugh MacDiarmid.
Andrew Greig is one of Scotland's leading poets and novelists. Born in Stirlingshire, Greig now shares his time between Orkney and Sheffield. We have selected the poem Winter Climbing from his anthology collection This Life, This Life: New & Selected Poems 1970-2006
Anna Crowe was born in Plymouth and raised in France and Sussex, but has been living and working in St Andrews for over 20 years. She is co-founder of StAnza, Scotland's Poetry Festival, as well as a poet, reviewer, translator and teacher of creative writing. We feature a poem from her latest collection, Coming To Light from Punk With Dulcimer