Monday, May 13, 2013

"Lady Grange on St Kilda"

 'They say I'm mad, but who would not be mad
on Hirta, when the winter raves along
the bay and howls through my stone hut, so strong
they thought I was and so I am, so bad
they thought I was and beat me black and blue
and banished me, my mouth of bloody teeth
and banished me to live and cry beneath
the shriek of sea-birds, and eight children too
we had, my lord, though I know what you are,
sleekit Jacobite, showed you up, you bitch,
and screamed outside your close at Niddry's Wynd,
until you set your men on me, and far
I went from every friend and solace, which
was cruel, out of mind, out of my mind.'


NOTE:   A Wikipedia "article of the day" about Lady Grange, published, with deliberate irony, I would think, on U.S. Mother's Day, a little additional research, and a love of Scotland prompted this post.  I've only visited Scotland once.  It affected me profoundly and I did see the Loch Ness Monster.  Until today, however, I’d never given Lady Grange, St Kilda, Hirta, the Soays Ram (above), the St. Kilda International Sea and Airport Lounge (below), or the work of Edwin Morgan a thought.  A sonnet for Sunday, republished here on Monday.  May the coming week flow me back to Scotland in sound mind and strong body.

Poem by Edwin Morgan, from Sonnets from Scotland (1984)

Dedicated to Alex and June Scott and Gordon and Helen Mackenzie


  1. Curtis, another nice post. Like a lot of Americans, I am really drawn to Scotland and have visited it a number of times, always too briefly. But the only Scottish island I've been to is the Orkneys, way north and they felt 'remote' for some reason, although very beautiful,and filled with prehistoric archaeological finds including a whole stone village with houses that seemed right out of Fred Flintstone's 'Bedrock.' Kind of embarrassed to admit that's what came to mind when touring the site.

  2. Thank you Anne (and we're very sorry we missed noting and wishing you a happy birthday). I'm glad you liked this. I understand the Flintstones observation and think there's nothing wrong with it. The Flintstones have broader applicability than its creators imagined, I think. I don't know whether you've ever read any of John Buchan's supernatural tales set in Scotland, but I thought about those also while reading this. I like Scotland and Scottish people both very much. And Scotch whiskey, and haggis, and floury baps, and Caledonia beer, and so on, and so on. Curtis