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Poem of the Month - May 2009


The give
of blackberry
between finger

and thumb
of juice

the bounce
of black pup
from garden

over fence
in the trees.

by Hamish Whyte

(unpublished work, 2009)

A few words about the poem

Bramble was inspired by reading a poem by William Carlos Williams, Stormy, about his Shetland sheep-dog. My poem is about my partner's daughter's dog Bramble, a very bouncy young dog with a tendency to escape her Ayrshire garden and disappear into the woods. It's impossible to match Williams's brilliant, spontaneous-seeming, rhythmic, pared-down poem, with the dog exploding from its name, but it was good fun to try. 

About the poet

Hamish Whyte was born near Glasgow where he lived for many years before moving to Edinburgh in 2004. He has edited many anthologies of Scottish literature, including Noise and Smoky Breath: an illustrated anthology of Glasgow poems 1900-1983, The Scottish Cat, An Arran Anthology and most recently, Kin: Scottish Poems about Family (Polygon/Scottish Poetry Library). He runs Mariscat Press, publishing the poetry of Edwin Morgan, Gael Turnbull, Janice Galloway and Stewart Conn among others. He has worked as a librarian, reviews crime fiction for Scotland on Sunday and is currently an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. A new collection of poems, A Bird in the Hand, came out last Christmas from Shoestring Press. His previous poetry publication, Window on the Garden (Essence/Botanic Press 2006), was reviewed in Scotland on Sunday as ‘Impossible to describe, like Joni Mitchell and James Joyce deciding to rewrite Thomson’s The Seasons in the style of Sappho.’


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