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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Graffiti by Janet Paisley

'Graffiti' by Janet Paisley, is one of the poems from 'The Kist' -  an anthology of Scots (and Gaelic) poetry and prose that was digitised by Education Scotland and gifted to the Scots Language Centre so that teachers and learners can continue to benefit from this valuable resource.

 

Graffiti by Janet Paisley

 

Johnny Scramble, nae preamble,
draws oan waws whin naebody’s lookin,
YAISES AEROSOL CANS,
RINS AWA FAE POLIS VANS.
Coarnered yesterday, he wis.
KEN WHIT THE STUPIT EEJIT DIS?
Pents hissell tae match the waw,
thocht they’d no see him at aw.
Johnny Scramble’s jist a ful,
NOO HE’S IN THE HOASPITUL
whaur naebody hus oney peety
FUR SICH A RARE CASE o GRAFFITI.

 

 

Learning Resources

 

Reading


Read the poem and listen to the audio file.

If there are unfamiliar words, try to work out what they mean according to their context, or look them up using a Scots dictionary – you can use an online Scots dictionary at www.dsl.ac.uk.

 

Understanding

  1. What is a ‘scramble’ and why is this an appropriate nickname for Johnny?
  2. How does Johnny normally try to escape being caught?
  3. How did Johnny try to escape this time?
  4. How did Johnny end up?

 

Listening/Talking


Discuss the following with a partner:

  1. Is there any graffiti where you stay or near your school? What sort of places tend to get written on?
  2. Have you ever had graffiti written on your wall or near your home? If so, how did you feel about it?
  3. Have you ever sat at a desk or had books issued to you which had graffiti written on them? If so, how did you feel about it?
  4. Have you ever written on a wall, book, desk or folder? If so, why did you do it?

 

Writing 

  1. Imagine you are Johnny. You are recovering in hospital and have decided to write a diary, giving your version of what happened. Write it down in Johnny’s own words.

OR

  1. Write your own poem about a time when you were caught doing something daft or embarrassing. Use as much Scots as you can.