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From The Sowls Yeer by John Roy

9th October 2013

From The Sowl's Yeer

Scots by John Roy from the German of Rudolph Steiner

(28 Aprile-4 Mey) 

“Ach - here A fin’ masel !” 
Sae, findin’ this, the sowl 
That reckons aa the warld in flowin’ licht 
An’ Sinlicht in the sowl 
Tae skiritie brings warmth 
Oor ain fowk an’ the warld 
Birl ane gey ceilidh! 

(5-11 Mey)

In Licht, at oot the howes o’speerit 
In space sae fruchtfu’ webbin 
The Gods shaw aa thar makkin: 
In is sheens oot the sowl in aa its weys 
Noo braidit tae the warlds ain bein’ 
An bracht agin tae life 
Ower inlyin selheid’s enner micht.

(2-8 Juin)

Forgettin’ aa the wull that A alane hae wrocht 
I’m fitted oot wi’ warmth 
That fous the warlds an’ sperks the simmer in
In licht tae lose masel, or so it’s gien,  
This picter fu’ o’ speerit tells ma thinkin’ 
An aa that augurs in me drums in learnin’ 
Gin ye but lose yersel. ‘tis you yer findin’


(30 Juin- 6 Julie) 

Bein’ in the hichts o’ the senses 
Flames in ma ain sowl deeps 
Lowp wi’ the speerit’s fiery warlds - 
The wird o’ truth, oot o’ the Gods thaimsels 
In the grun o’ speerit sik expectant 
Freens o’ the speerit there tae fin’.


 (28 Julie - 3 August) 

Oot speks the Warld’s wird 
Soondin its music throu the doors o’ ma senses 
In ma sowl’s grun respondin: 
Be fu tae yer uttmaist howes o’ speerit 
Wi ma warldwid boon 
Tae fin’, in time, masel in ye.


 (20-26 October) 

Masel, thinkin’s licht 
Inower souderin’ tae a firedamp 
Makkin a wee bit sinse o life 
Oot aa the swirlin swelch o’ cosmic speerit, 
Fer me - its simmer’s heirship 
Its hairst’s lown, an its a howp in wunter.

(27 October - 2 November) 

Sprootin in ma ain sowl’s sinlicht 
Thochts fa as maumie frucht, 
Tae better ken masels a kin o’ caution 
Cause aa ma feelins chynge. 
A fin a kin o’gledness in the saison 
As Hairst’s hert speerit beats oot rhythm 
This wunter wull in me inbring 
A simmersowl awaukened

Scots translations by John Roy 

If there's anyone out there who still has doubts about Scots as a fully functioning language,  here is some poetry translated from German into Scots.  

Anthroposophichen Seelenkalendar, the original work by Rudolph Steiner, is a series of short poems, one for each week of the year.  It is a well known work which has been translated into English, and discussed and performed many times, and not just within the circles of Anthroposophy. Our image is from a  performance of Seelenkalendar in German.

John Roy has done this Scots version as The Sowl's Yeer.  Forty of the 52 pieces have been turned into a beautiful book with illustrations by the artist Eva Mees-Christeller, and I have selected from the poems he has placed beside her artwork. The whole work may be found on the internet and it is well worth looking up.

The work in Scots has already been performed in Scotland, at the Netherbow in Edinburgh and at Camphill in Glasgow, where there are special connections with Steiner's work. 

The author studied Scots with particular reference to the Lorimer Bible and by visits to Glasgow schools and communities.