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In a Dwaam by Edith Harper


Not the Edith Harper who became Anna Wickham (1883-1947), but a writer in Scots in this year’s autumn issue of Northwords Now, the newsprint style magazine run from Inverness. Northwords Now has a strong commitment to writing in Gaelic, so it is nice to see Scots poetry appear here too from time to time.
In a simple short poem the writer looks back on an experience with a strong Highland tinge, as she looks out of a homestead window towards the sea, giving immediate impressions of her surroundings in a lively and assured Scots vocabulary. There’s quite a bit of rhyme here too, but it doesn’t run right through the poem, for the beginning and end of the poem have their own momentum,.

More and more writers of poetry in Scots are appearing in our midst and this is very encouraging. Edith Harper was brought up in North-East Scotland, and she says that nature inspires much of her poetry. I look forward to seeing more of it.

In a Dwaam by Edith Harper

Gin Ah’d little tae dae, Ah stare oot the windae,
past the yella curtain an a bowl o broon eggs 
laid on the stane windae-ledge.
Past twa-three sarks hingin fae pegs
on a washin-line streetched atween the hedge,
fu o squabbling spurgies, an the aul rodan tree.
Past the park fu o ripenin barley
an on doon the strath till Ah come tae the sea
whaur the gulls ca on me tae come oot tae play.
Ah see masel dancing on diamonds that drap
fae the sun, like steppin-stanes on the waves.