‘Speaking of Scotland’ by Maurice Lindsay

Well, the end is near, and so I’ll share my final poems… not quite the end, and definitely not the final poems as I said in my last post, poetry is FOREVER! But it is the end of National Poetry Month so let’s go out in style.

The first poem I’m sharing is Speaking of Scotland by Maurice Lindsay. It’s a belter, as we Scots like to say, and the final stanza makes my Scots blood pump and my wee Scottish heart sing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Speaking of Scotland

What do you mean when you speak of Scotland?
The grey defeats that are dead and gone
behind the legends each generation
savours afresh, yet can’t live on?

Lowland farms with their broad acres
peopling crops? The colder earth
of the North East? Or Highland mountains
shouldering up their rocky dearth?

Inheritance of guilt that our country
has never stood where we feel she should?
A nagging threat of unfinished struggle
somehow forever lost in the blood?

Scotland’s a sense of change, an endless
becoming for which there was never a kind
of wholeness or ultimate category.
Scotland’s an attitude of mind.


Jarvie, G. (ed) (2017) ‘Speaking of Scotland’ by Maurice Lindsay from 100 Favourite Scottish Poems To Read Out Loud. Edinburgh: Luath Press Limited

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Wendy Pratt

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