Poem of the week: Robert Alan Jamieson

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In his new bi-lingual collection Nort Atlantik Drift (Luath, £15), Robert Alan Jamieson takes the reader on a journey to the rhythms and voices of Shetland, creating a lyrical blend of mythology, autobiography and culture. He appears at the StAnza poetry festival this weekend.

Laamint fir da tristie

Kooshin Bill wis lost

heddit fir Hillswiek

akross Snt Magnis B

on a koors nyght

in an opin boat –

fokk sed

he wis gjaain

t'da bd dr –

(fir drink!)

He tinks – Aa dat waatir!

Man, hit's dry t'die a'drooth

amung s mukkil waatir.

Lament for the thirsty

Cousin Bill was drowned, heading for Hillswick across St Magnus Bay

on a stormy night in an open boat – People said

he was going to the pub there – (for drink!)

He thinks – All that water! Man, it's ironic to die of thirst in the midst of so much water.

You can borrow Nort Atlantik Drift from the Scottish Poetry Library, which also lends by post. Tel: 0131-557 2876, e-mail reception@spl.org.uk or visit www.spl.org.uk

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