the lost Bannockburn poems
I am rather cross. I was looking forward to another leisurely consideration of the poems put forward as contenders for the inscription on the new visitor centre at Bannockburn. I was also looking forward to comparing notes with those of you who read them and voted. Well, voting closed on St. Andrew’s Day and lo! ‘the people’ are no longer allowed to read the poems, apparently. They have vanished from the website. Rather small minded of the organisers, in my disgruntled opinion.
All I can do is to say that, for me, Kathleen Jamie’s poem was the natural choice. Amidst the bellicose swagger and aggressive, anachronistic socialism of some of the male authors, Jamie’s quiet voice was a breath of sanity. I became an awe-struck fan of her writing through her book of essays, Findings: in her poem for Bannockburn, she reveals the same sensitivity to place, the same intuitive sympathy for landscape and the souls who inhabit it. It would be a fine thing for us all if this were the voice chosen to speak for Scotland’s bloody past.
If you chose differently, however, do please tell me how and why. Assuming you can remember, of course, now that the poems themselves have vanished…