Scotland may be known for Irn Bru, beautiful skylines, historic buildings and stunning landscapes but its impact on culture – including poetry – shouldn’t be underestimated.
After all, you can’t have a Burns night without the poetry of Robert Burns – even with the haggis and a dram in hand. However, Burns was not the only Scottish poet to leave a mark on the world with his words and couplets.
World Poetry Day was earlier this week and with it, we decided to ask our readers who was the best Scottish poet of all time…that isn’t Robert Burns. Hundreds of you replied to offer your thoughts on the country’s best poet.
Here are the 10 poets you chose as Scotland’s best of all time.
1. Norman MacCaig (1910 - 1996)
Edinburgh born poet Norman MacCaig was born known for poems like 'A corner of the road, early morning' and would frequently pen poems about people, animals and places. MacCaig was comfortably the most popular poet amongst our readership. Photo: Creative Commons 2.0
2. William McGonagall (1825-1902)
A notoriously bad but beloved poet, William McGonagall is best known for the terrible poem 'The Tay Bridge Disaster' which is said to be one of the worst in English literature. But here in Scotland, we love him all the same. Photo: Creative Commons 2.0
3. Magi Gibson
Born in Kilsyth, Magi Gibson established herself as one of the leading voices in Scottish poetry with her book 'Wild Women of a Certain Age' - which rates highly on Amazon.co.uk and numerous book review sites. Photo: Luath Press/Magi Gibson
4. Jackie Kay
Edinburgh born poet, playwright, and novelist Jackie Kay is best known for her works such as 'Other Lovers'. A CBE, FRSE and FRSL, Kay has won a number of awards - namely the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book Award amongst many others. Photo: WPA Pool