Duncan Glen - Thinking of Hugh MacDiarmid
There is a sadness in the rustle of the trees in this anglicised Edinburgh. But see there oot o the settin sun into these daurk and humdrum days
slots a sleekit ferlie, ilka makar haein his ain laugh. There, and here, a language, fire-flaucht, handsel agin drivin wunds.
The sicht transmorgified thistle silhouettit atap lang lang curve o mornin's clear blue horizon
The clypie voices jabberin jabberin, jabbering agin themsels, stilled to quait - at least for a shairp intak o braith.
Oot this double windae mony northern lichts to be seen. Bein faur owre the measurt horizon they canna be pit oot - at least until the Tuesday efter next's week's eternity...
See oot there an epic whigmaleerie walks doon the street, and a gallimaufry o soond at its tail. Till the haill warld's aclaitter wi the joy o bein
heels owre heid
- fire-flaucht, a flash of lightning
- stots, bounces
- sleekit ferlie, sly manifestration, wonder
- ilka makar, every poet
- handsel, a gift for luck, a good omen
- clypie, tell-tale
- jabberin, chattering
- quait, quiet
- windae, window
- faur owre, far over
- whigmaleerie, fantastic ornament without monetary value
- gallimaufry, heterogeneous mixture or medley
About Duncan Glen
Professor Duncan Glen was a poet, literary editor and academic who has published a number of poetry collections under his Akros imprint, which grew out of the Akros magazine he once edited. Akros has also published a number of histories of Glen's home town, Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire. Our selected poem comes from his 2006 collection, Collected Poems, 1965-2005.