Robin Robertson

Robin Robertson has a book of folk tales out in the autumn called Grimoire.

Poem: ‘Near Gleann nam Fiadh’

Robin Robertson, 30 July 2020

for Richard Scott

All night preparing: the pelts oiled, blades whetted, the flaneschecked for truth and sharpness, set loose enoughthere in the quiver, before the dawn, before the Becoming.To hunt the stag with honour, Father said, you mustchange your shape and nature: assume his form.Latching on the headpiece, the skullcap with its horns,I walked soft into the morning, alert, changed:no longer...

Poem: ‘Inside Tobar na Marbh’

Robin Robertson, 5 December 2019

for Maggie Fergusson

Four years old, I was, when her thrawn mood finally snapped.‘What you staring at? That daft face on you.You’re always gawking, always querious.Watch the wind doesn’t change, or you’ll stay like that…’So I stayed and watched the wind so long I became it;became it, for its very changing.

My sklent eye took in everything –the...

Poem: ‘Beyond Dubh-Chladach’

Robin Robertson, 23 May 2019

for Duncan McLean

Seven years we’d waited; three bairns lost inside, and two born dead. Rab blamed himself, then me, then the crone on the next island, then the wee folk – the sithchean – the fair folk, the peerie folk. So when I started to show, for certain, he went to work: pulled a handful of nails from the ruined jetty, gathered pieces of oak and elder and the sacred rowan;...

Poem: ‘In Easgann Wood’

Robin Robertson, 18 February 2016

For Don Paterson

Rain works the road; its grey hand passing over and over, in waves: lashing, stotting down. A stour-wind’s in the trees, churning their heads, and the sky’s full of leaves and the sky is raging: it will not subside and will not cease, and will not be consoled.

As thunder brings the toads so rain draws worms from the ground, the rapt god to this bedroom window, this...

Poem: ‘Beside Loch Iffrin’

Robin Robertson, 23 October 2014

for Catherine Lockerbie

Late January, and the oak still green, the year already wrong. The season miscarried – the lambs in the field, and the blossom blown – the whole year broken before it began, and me standing where winter should have been: a reived man, a man forspoken.

A woman’s kiss will lift you all morning. A woman’s curse will grave you to hell.

By the...

Slice of Life: Robin Robertson

Colin Burrow, 30 August 2018

Robin Robertson​ is something of a specialist in pain. He usually describes what painful events look like from the outside rather than how they feel from within. It’s often as though...

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Send no postcards, take no pictures

John Redmond, 21 May 1998

Kenneth Koch ends his fine and amusing collection, One Train, with a sequence called ‘On Aesthetics’, which, amongst many other things, takes in the aesthetics of Paul Valéry,...

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