Wednesday 20 January 2010
I had the privilege of opening another event which was a legacy from the Year of Homecoming. As part of a commission from East Ayrshire Council, Scots poet Rab Wilson from New Cumnock had written twelve poems each based on a line from a Burns work. Examples included ‘I Saw Thy Pulse’s, Maddening Play,’ and 'Love Blinks, Wit Slaps, an’ Social Mirth' but the piece-de-resistance is his no-holds-barred tirade against the irresponsible bankers who brought Scotland’s reputation as a thrifty nation crashing to the ground. None is spared as Rab trains his linguistic sights on the main culprits in a poem entitled Wae Worth Thy Power, Thou Cursed Leaf! based on lines from Burns’ 1786 poem Lines Written on a Banknote. The exhibition is on at the Midsteeple in Dumfries and runs until 13 February and I can’t recommend it highly enough. As Writer in Residence at the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Association (DGAA) Rab is passionate about the Scots language and Scots poetry and he demonstrates in this exhibition the full richness of the language as a vehicle for evocative poetry. He was particularly pleased to support the recent work of the Dumfries Burns Howff Club in producing a highly successful book, A Wee Kist o’ Verse which contains 100 of the best poems in Scots from the 600 entries they received from local Primary and Secondary Schools as part of their Homecoming Competition. The photograph shows Rab and me with Susan Garnsworthy, the Director of DGAA.