2007 - 2022

Poem Of The Week: Learning (in English and Shetlandic Scots)


Limping piano notes climb to me, 
wind up the bannisters 
to where I sit with a book of poetry. 
I listen to ragged understandings of rhythm 
and sounds. Every run through 
gets more right, tiny fingers finding 
touch and speed just where it’s wanted. 
Softly a song is formed 
out of noise, pattern from chaos. 
The tutor, pleased, picks another melody 
for her to try. I apply myself once more 
to my poetry, but I wonder 
if I’ll go my way as easily as she.


Hirplin piano notts clim ta me, 
win up da bannisters 
ta whaar a’m dippit wi a book o poetry. 
I listen ta pellet twiggins o rhythm 
an soonds. Ivvery rin trowe 
gits mair richt, mootie fingers finnin 
touch an speed jöst whaar hit’s waantit. 
Peerie-wyes a sang is wirkit 
oot fae hooro, pattren fae stramash. 
Da mester, plaised, picks anidder melody 
fir her ta try. I apply mesel eence mair 
ta me poetry, bit I winder 
if a’ll geng me wye as aesy as shö.


Maxine Rose Munro is a poet and Shetlander who writes in both English and Shetlandic Scots. She has been published in several journals and anthologies including Glasgow Review of Books. Read and hear more of her work here

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  1. Justin Kenrick says:


    Both for poetry that presents itself as limping along, a pale echo of notes that yet resonate brightly and only through these words, and for using the shoe horn technique of a swift follow on to deftly bring the Shetlandic Scots to life.

    Cinderella Shetlandic Scots goes to the ball.

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