This year’s Sceptical Scot poem for Christmas – so soon since the last one – is a poignantly, tenderly beautiful poem by Christine de Luca.
‘We need to recognise the bawdy sense of mischief that was common currency in the tradition before it was swept aside by the religious revival in the 19th century. In contrast to the shortbread tin image of Highland culture, this sheds vital light on the past and the present – as Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair would have it, breasts, pricks, warts and all’.
This is a good time for satirists, though there’s no clear line between farce and tragedy in the real life script written in the words of our political leaders. Fay Young samples poetry and music inspired by Trump, May and Brexit.
Kate Tough’s poetry stirs hearts and minds as Glasgow celebrates Slavery Remembrance Day 2017 with growing openness about the city’s link with the slave trade.
Jeremy Corbyn’s serene countenance during the election campaign drew frequent parallels with that of a Buddhist monk, Corbyn himself at one point referring to his efforts to attune himself to a Zen mindframe. But Corbyn’s unaffected homily at Glastonbury suggests a comparison with another spiritual archetype might be more appropriate.
‘Every minute of every day, twenty four people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, terror. It’s at times like these that poets speak to us and ask us to reflect.’ Gordon Munro chooses poetry for Refugee Week
Two years ago the poet Tony Walsh wrote and performed We Are Manchester for the twentieth anniversary of the Manchester Arena. Poetry commissioned for a different occasion now takes on searing new significance.
Maybe poetry can help us clarify our thinking about some of the important issues facing Scotland, indeed the world, today? With the help of poet Christine De Luca, Sceptical Scot sets out to explore wider horizons.
The poet describes herself as ‘a resident native who senses Glasgow’s contradictions’. Kate Tough both startles and stirs, and shines a new light with a contrarian view of the famously friendly city.
On Valentine’s Day – or any other day – Sceptical Scot is pleased to publish this tribute to Robert Burns and his lasting truth by new writer Pat Sutherland.