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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Brekken Beach, Nort Yell by Christine De Luca

'Brekken Beach, Nort Yell', by Christine De Luca, 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. 


Brekken Beach, Nort Yell

by Christine De Luca


A mile aff we catch a glisk
o Brekken beach: webbed
atween headlands, a glansin arc
o ancient shalls
sun sillered.

Waves aff Arctic floes
bank in; dey shade fae cobalt
tae a glacial green; swall
an brak, rim on rim
o lipperin froad.

We rin owre dunes
crumplin smora,
fling aff wir shon
birze sand trow taes
dell and bigg it;
shaste da doon draa
o da waves, loup
der hidmost gasps.

Abune wis, solan plane an plummet,
an on da cliff, a tystie
triggit up in black an white
gawps at wir foally.

Da sun draps don ahint his keep
as we man leave
an Eden aert
ta him.


Learning Resources


Reading and Writing


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


Choose one of the following tasks:


Task 1:

Imagine you are the person in the poem. You are on holiday and yesterday you came upon Brekken Beach and chose to spend some time there.

Create a postcard showing a picture of Brekken Beach as seen from the sea. On the back, write home, describing this beautiful beach. Scrieve in your own dialect if you can.


Task 2:

Using your own dialect of Scots, or general Scots, write a paragraph or a poem about your own favourite place in Scotland.


Task 3:

Imagine you are the black guillemot perched on the cliff. You look down and watch the group of people having fun on the beach. Write a description of life on Brekken Beach from the bird's point of view. Write in Scots if you can.