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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Accent o the Mind

19th March 2009

'Accent o the Mind' is an anthology of poetry by Rab Wilson, published in 2006. Available as a book or a CD it demonstrates the variety of interests Rab pursues in his poetry. There are translations into Scots of some of Horace's Satires, the 'Cormilligan' collection of sonnets about clearances in south-west Scotland and the 'Somewhaur in the Daurk' sonnets. This particular series was inspired by interviews with people affected by the Miners' Strike of 1984-85. Here is one of them to read and to listen to.

Alex Shanks
Ah wis oan Newcraighall Strike Committee.
A single mither wi next tae zero
Gied us a fiver oot o her giro
Men gied us free beer fae Dryborough Brewery.
The right tae work, that wis aa that we asked
Demands which the Tories said went too faur
Fir tellys, holidays, mibbes a caur
Sae judges an lawyers taen us tae task.
Ah wis dragged through the courts, heavily fined
An haein nae previous wis nae defence
Fined twa hunner pound fir a first offence.
Aa ah did wis staun oan a picket line.
Ah'll never forget it, it's left its mark,
It festers there yet, somewhaur in the daurk.

Of course, Rab himself has worked in coal mining. He remains interested in marking the social and cultural impact deep mining had in East Ayrshire and has collaborated in cross-cultural ventures and community events. He is currently working with the film maker Tony Grace on a film with poetry about the open cast mining industry today.

  • Alex Shanks