Pairt o the pleisure o readin Scots is in the recognition, whether o yir ain language being deployed in weys ye never thocht o, or of encounterin thi several ither weys – includin the Northern Isles, Doric, and the Borders – o daein things wi wurds ye never thocht o either. Mind, a bit of me aye resists the notion that’s aa that maks it poetry – aa that ‘unexhausted evolutionary momentum’ stuff. That’s cause I jist want tae savour hou we experience ordinary things and the words we yaise that meet them, precisely, and for this tae also be, finally, ordinary, braid in the several senses o ‘common’ – includin commonplace as weel as a bit oary.
And these poems dae jist that: they sing wi a wee saft-shoe shuffle; tell tales taller than Eck; spin and show ye the teuchest o truths; they luke at some art and dinna stop at ‘Fit’s at?’; then sit back and see the hail warld gaein aboot its business and no mindin aboot Scots at aa. That, I thocht, is what I waant.
I dinna need tellin aboot the histories o the leid, I jist waant tae see whit it can actually dae. I dinna need tellin aboot its bein oppressed, I can gauge that ivry time I type a Scots word or spellin withoot switchin aff autocorrect (or Scotocorrect as ye come tae think of it). I quite like tae see the blindinly obvious truth expressed that Scots is Scots English and English in Scotland as weel as Heich (Dictionary) Scots and Urban (maistly West Coast) Scots – and that this is the ither meanin o ‘braid’: we weave aa the Scotses thegither intae somethin that’s no grander or deeper nor ony o them, but jist maps ontae this place whaur we bide or yaised tae bide or plan tae bide from whauriver on the planet we’re at, and the scale is, as Borges mentioned, 1:1.
That’s the haill clanjamfry, Shug, and here is the key.