Saturday, 14 September 2013
"Go, Little Book": Poets in Edinburgh
When I go to Edinburgh, as I did last week, I go for lazy blog posts full of pictures, like this one from last year. So here's another with some of the poetic delights I came across.
This is Sir Walter Scott, from the Scott Memorial on Princes Street. Of course, I have excised the giant gothic folderol surrounding it and just included the statue.
This is a quotation from Robert Fergusson, outside the Writers Museum. He was a major influence on Robbie Burns.
These are all quotations from various Scots poets and writers on the side of the frankly weird Scottish Parliament. Here you can read and enjoy all the various quotations: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/21013.aspx
Although I didn't specifically track down the graves, I discovered that in the creepy graveyard of Greyfriars Kirk, a couple of famous or infamous poets are buried - Allan Ramsay and William McGonagall.
Here, too, was a mystery poet:
On the famous Rose Street there were planters with quotations from the likes of Hugh MacDiarmid and Ian Crichton Smith.
And in Princes Street Gardens I found this on a park bench:
We dropped in at the Scottish Poetry Library too and saw some of the beautiful and still anonymous book sculptures - as well as others here and there around town. At the Writers Museum we mainly visited with Sir Walter Scott, Burns, and Robert Louis Stevenson. I have a love for Stevenson's poems, which are wistful, dreamy and adventurous, among other things. Here's a rather lovely one.
ENVOY (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Go, little book, and wish to all,
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore!
All photos © Clarissa Aykroyd, 2013