Poetry Lights Up Edinburgh Thursday, 11 February 2010Posted by edincityoflit in Events, Poetry in Edinburgh, Poets.
Tags: Gael Turnbull, Lord Byron, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson
As part of the February 2010 citywide reading campaign – Carry a Poem – locations in Edinburgh are ‘carrying a poem’ in the City of Literature: The National Library, Leith Walk, the Royal Mile, the City Chambers (Cockburn Street) and the Usher Hall. For one night only, Edinburgh Castle also lit up.
The National Library of Scotland
So, we’ll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
Lord Byron – or George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron if you want to get a little formal – was born in 1788, schooled in Aberdeen, and was a major Romantic poet. He wore a lot of frilly shirts and wrote great love poems. His mum was Scottish so we’re claiming him as one of ours…The National Library of Scotland has some of his letters and artefacts in their John Murray Archive and the lines projected are from the poem ‘So, we’ll go no more a roving’. You can visit the archive on
line here http://www.nls.uk/jma or nip down to George IV Bridge to see the exhibition yourself and have a cuppa in their excellent cafe.
The Royal Mile – (on the pavement, near City Chambers entrance archways)
Keeping and forgetting time,
my pulse to your pulse, rhythm and rhyme
Gael Turnbull was born in Edinburgh in 1928 and worked on what he termed kinetic poems; texts for installation in which the movement of the reader and/or of the text became part of the reading experience. He also used to busk on the Royal Mile which is why we’ve projected his poem there. This poem was written specially for the Scottish Poetry Library, and if you want to read more of his work, hunt down the collection There Are Words by Shearsman Books. http://www.spl.org.uk
The City Chambers – (back of City Chambers building, Cockburn Street)
Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a’ that,
That Sense and Worth o’er a’ the earth
Shall bear the gree an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s comin yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man the warld o’er
Shall brithers be for a’ that.
You probably already know everything you need to about Robert Burns and these lines which are taken from the poem ‘A Man’s a Man for a’ That’, but did you know he came to Edinburgh in 1787 and you can go for a walk in his footsteps – you can visit the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature for a virtual tour.
The Usher Hall
Our lives, and every day and hour,
One symphony appear:
One road, one garden – every flower
And every bramble dear.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson is an Edinburgh-lad, born in 1850 in 8 Howard Place, in the New Town. He’s perhaps best known as the author of the now world-famous book Treasure Island, but he wrote many books and was also a poet. Although troubled by illness his whole life, he was a traveller and true bon viveur. These lines are from one of the short poems in Songs of Travel. www.robert-louis-stevenson.org
James Hoggs’ ‘Love is Like a Dizziness’ is projected at the Foot of the Walk.