Find our teaching notes for Dr Wha, one of our National Poetry Day 2018 poems, here.
Base Camp. Horizontal sleet. Two small boys
have raised the steel flag of the 20 terminus:
me and Ross Mudie are going up the Hilltown
for the first time ever on our own.
When I was eight, I was forced south. Not long after, when I opened my mouth, a strange thing happened. I lost my Scottish accent. Words fell off my tongue: eedyit, dreich, wabbit, crabbit stummer, teuchter, heidbanger, so you are, so am ur, see you, see ma ma, shut yer geggie or I’ll gie you […]
Thou’s welcome, Wean! Mishanter fa’ me,
If thoughts o’ thee, or yet thy Mamie.
Wha’s jist a thoctie in anither’s heid?
Wha’s Doctor Wha? Wha better kens nor s^he?
Wha’s Doctor Wha?
Who wakes every morning
/ in a brilliant mood as auburn bursts
/ cast filigree nets over foreheads
/ and swingparks and paint themselves
/ on pavements.
Fa’ owre, fa’ owre, my hinny,
/ There’s monie a weary airt;
/ And nae end to the traikin,
/ For man has a hungry hert.
Aince upon a day my mither said to me:
/ Dinna cleip and dinna rype
/ And dinna tell a lee.
/ For gin ye cleip…
Daytime an’ nicht,
/ Sun, wind an’ rain;
Fae stooshie tae fankle tae bouroch tae dreck / we’re steeped in the downpour of dialect.
A! Fredome is a noble thing
/ Fredome mays man to haiff liking.
/ Fredome all solace to man giffis,
/ He levys at es that…