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Megan’S Story: ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ Wednesday, 24 February 2010

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My favourite poem is ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ by Robert Burns! Here are two lines from the poem:

But to see her was to love her,
love but her, and love forever.

I like it because it caught my eye and it was very interesting and he made it sound very romantic.

Megan is a pupil at Queensferry High School.

Poetry Pocketcards – In Detail Still Monday, 22 February 2010

Posted by edincityoflit in Stories.
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Here is your second batch of poetry pocketcards:

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. In 1923, he was the first Irishman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Edward Estlin Cummings was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and a photographer. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Jabberwocky”, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense.

Rudyard Kipling was a British author and poet, born in Bombay in 1865. His children’s books are enduring classics of children’s literature, and his poetry exceptionally popular. In 1907, he was the first English language writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. He declined both the Poet Laureateship and a knighthood.

James Hogg was born near Ettrick in Scotland in 1770 and is often referred to as ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’. His employer introduced him to Sir Walter Scott, who asked him to help with a publication entitled The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Eventually becoming a well-known literary figure in Edinburgh, he was recruited by William Blackwood for Blackwood’s Magazine, and went on to publish The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner, now his most widely recognised work, and cited as an influential work by many modern Scottish writers.

Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator, author, and poet, renowned today primarily for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form that he popularised.

Adrian Mitchell was a London-born poet, novelist and playwright. A former journalist, he became a noted figure on the British anti-authoritarian Left and for almost half a century he was the foremost poet of the country’s anti-Bomb movement. He died in 2008, and is survived by his wife, Celia, and five children.

Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire in 1759  and while he contemplated emigration to the West Indies, his collection of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect was published by John Wilson of Kilmarnock, and its unexpected success led him to reconsider. Instead, he moved to Edinburgh where he was fêted. During the last years of his life, Burns wrote some of his great poetic masterpieces, including ‘Tam o’Shanter’ and ‘A red, red rose’. He died in aged 37, of heart disease.

Every year, on 25 January, the anniversary of his birth, Scots celebrate Burns Night with a Burns Supper, a traditional celebration consisting of speeches, music and song dedicated to the poet’s life and work.

Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American-born English poet, playwright, and literary critic. His first notable publication, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and Four Quartets. He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Order of Merit in 1948.

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.

Over To You

So, there you have them – our poetry pocketcards.  Which do you like best?

Jennifer, Luke, Andrew, and Scott’s Stories Monday, 15 February 2010

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Jennifer carries Robert Burns’ “A red, red rose,”

“my love is like a red red rose

that’s newly sprung in june:

my love is like a melody

that’s sweetly played in tune”

Luke carries The Bogeyman by Andrew Fusek Peters, preferring the line:

“His mind a foggy twilight

Filled with a darkening drink.”

Andrew carries Black Friday by James Copeland, where his favourite stanza is:

“Anyone a witness?
Naw, we never saw,
Glad ah’m no’ the polis,
Goin’ tell its maw”.

Scott carries the anonymous poem The Ghoul, where he likes the stanza:

“The gruesome ghoul,the grisly ghoul,without the slightest noise waits patiently beside the school to feast on girls and boys.”


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Pedrum writes, “The first poem I chose was “Haiku” by Mike Jubb. I liked this poem because it was short and easy to remember. The second poem i chose was “First Bra” by Clare Bevan. I chose this poem because i found it amusing. :)”

Georgina carries the poem “The Lesson” by Edward Lucie-Smith.
You can read the text of the poem here.

Kelly writes, “I have picked the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling this is because it is different from other poems i’ve ever read before.”
“If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;”
From If

Carla carries “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns.  She writes, “I chose the first verse of this poem because I have heard it a lot and I know it well.
“Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what panic’s in thy breastie!”
From To a Mouse

Poetry Lights Up Edinburgh Thursday, 11 February 2010

Posted by edincityoflit in Events, Poetry in Edinburgh, Poets.
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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

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

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.

Robert Burns

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

Leith Walk

James Hoggs’ ‘Love is Like a Dizziness’ is projected at the Foot of the Walk.