Scotland's Shine by Antonio Marques, under a Creative Commons licence
Although there have been of late one or two stories in the media about tempers flaring over the subject of Scottish independence, I think most of us would agree that the general tenor of the debates conducted by the public has been remarkably good-natured. And we also know why that is – the person disagreeing with you could be a parent, a partner, a colleague or a friend. The politicians can afford to get shirty with each other, but we, the people, know we're going to have to live together and get along once polling stations close and the verdict is in.
A new poem by Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca, 'The Morning After' has got to the heart of the matter – and we're very proud here at the SPL to feature it as our current Poem of the Moment, as well as to host – see below – a recording of Christine reading her poem. You can read the poem by clicking here. In contrast to much of the writing and art inspired by the referendum campaign, De Luca’s poem is non-partisan, stressing Scots have more in common with each other than there is dividing them. ‘It’s those unseen things that bind us, / not flag or battle-weary turf or tartan.’
The poem calls on Scots to work together to build a better country whether Yes or No triumphs. It is sure to resonate with the Scottish public, whose own conversations, on buses and over dinner tables, during tea breaks at work or standing at the bar, have been civil and eager to hear both sides out.
De Luca says: “My personal views are not very far off the middle of this debate as I can see merit in both sets of arguments. Like many people I have good friends who will vote differently from me, and I respect their judgement. It will not affect our friendship in the future. I also hope that we will be sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of the rest of the United Kingdom as they deal with the impact of our decision-making.
“In writing the poem I wanted to say something about the need to work together as Scots, irrespective of the referendum outcome; and not to become down-hearted if the result goes against our personal preference. There is plenty work to be done, whatever the outcome, to make this a more peace-loving, just country. This will need the goodwill of us all.”
By coincidence, the SPL is hosting a Referendum Poetry Read-Round and Breakfast on the morning of the 19th of September. Join us for coffee, croissants, discussion and good poetry. Those who attend are welcome to read up to two poems or for a max of 5 minutes – your own or favourites. Scottish poems and poems on the theme of politics and independence are encouraged. It begins at 11am and costs a mere £3 (or £2 concessions). But a ticket by clicking here.
You can hear a recording of Christine reading 'The Morning After' below:
We also have a number of downloadable posters on a referendum theme that you can find here.