Each year the Scottish Poetry Library asks a guest editor to put together an online anthology, Best Scottish Poems. Last week, the SPL posted on its website 2011’s selection, which has been chosen by poet Roddy Lumsden.
Charlotte Runcie is the youngest of the poets included. “Staying In” was written while Runcie was studying in England. Observing the difference between English and Scottish rain made her nostalgic for Edinburgh. The form is traditional – a sonnet – yet the language often surprises (‘An appaloosa spatter’). Like Lumsden’s other choices, “Staying In” somehow manages to be unique and yet still somehow Scottish.
I watch the city shrug its clothes back on.
An appaloosa spatter gathers scent
that hits the brain the way it hits a lawn:
it quenches, hard as mint. I think it meant
to come inside, but only leaves a note
in droplets on the door; at Hogmanay
it settles in the lungs and in the throat
and whispers too a hush of seaside spray
that sweeps below the ribs and keeps its snow
flakes back from hopeful tongues. I’m breathing when
the rainsmell pours my throat a dram, and so
I open up the window wider, stand again
here in our cloud and wincing, hats and boots,
a pearlish weeping reaching for the roots.
You can read Best Scottish Poems on the SPL website: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west