The Poetry of Scotland (anthology)

After a couple of Brontë novels, I decided I needed a palette cleanser before proceeding forward.  More poetry seemed the ticket.  I found this little gem of Scottish poetry on Audible, with some fantastic narrators, such as Alan Cumming.  The running time was only an hour long, so I gave it a couple of runs just on account.  The first was to acclimate to the style, the meter, the accents, the general idea of what the poems were about, that sort of thing.  The second run was more for deeper understanding.  As with any anthology, some of these were fantastic the first time through.  Others… I realized there’s a story behind the story that I still need for full appreciation.  No regrets; it gives me a place to start.

Here’s the track list:

The TWA Corbies – Ballad
Sir Patrick Spens – Ballad
Get Up And Bar The Door – Anonymous
The TWA Books – Alan Ramsay
from ‘A Hymn On The Seasons’ – James Thomson
Hymn On Solitude – James Thomson
Johnnie Cope – Adam Skirving
from ‘O Tell Me How To Woo Thee’ – Robert Graham of Gartmore
from ‘Auld Reikie’ – Robert Fergusson
A Red Red Rose – Robert Burns
Tam O’ Shanter – Robert Burns
To A Mouse – Robert Burns
A Man’s A Man For A’ That – Robert Burns
Ae Fond Kiss – Robert Burns
from ‘Caller Herrin’ – Lady Nairne
Ca’ The Yowes To The Knowles – Anonymous
McLean’s Welcome – James Hogg
Lochinvar – Sir Walter Scott
Proud Maisie – Sir Walter Scott
Old Christmastide (An Extract) By Sir Walter Scott
My Native Land – Sir Walter Scott
The Dirge Of Wallace – Thomas Campbell
Ode To The Memory Of Burns – Thomas Campbell
Lord Ullin’s Daughter – Thomas Campbell
Lachin Y Gair – George Gordon (Lord) Byron
Beautiful Balmoral – William Topaz McGonagall
from ‘The City Of Dreadful Night’ – James Thomson
from ‘In The Shadows’ (Sonnet 1) – David Gray
The Vagabond – Robert Louis Stevenson
Where Go The Boats – Robert Louis Stevenson
God Gave To Me A Child In Part – Robert Louis Stevenson
I Do Not Fear To Own Me Kin – Robert Louis Stevenson
Autumn Fires – Robert Louis Stevenson
Christmas At Sea – Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter – Robert Louis Stevenson
When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead – Charles Sorley
Such Such Is Death – Charles Sorley
Scottish Ground – Daniel Sheehan
Selkirt Grace – Robert Burns
Scots Whahae – Robert Burns
Auld Lang Syne – Robert Burns

I have to admit my surprise here.  I had no idea Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott wrote poetry.  For that matter, I had no idea Stevenson was Scottish.  Robert Burns was pretty much a given.  Some things just have to be.  And some of these poets I’d not even heard of before.  For a novice like me, this is an excellent foothold for climbing the mountain of appreciation.  Scotland has a reputation for the warrior poet, sort of the natural successor to the Vikings.  Some of what’s here reflects that beautifully.  While most definitely geared to the Scottish experience, a great deal of it speaks universally some level too.  No doubt that’s why the Scots have that global renown.  If this collection is anything to judge by, it’s earned.

10 thoughts on “The Poetry of Scotland (anthology)

  1. Ohh, I’ll have to check this out. I know very little about Scottish poetry beyond Robert Burns, which I have struggled to really enjoy, so this might be a great launching off point.

    Liked by 1 person

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