Friday, 10 July 2009

Postcard 35: Scotland & Sir Walter Scott Territory


Above: Loch Katrine
Below: Abbotsford


I have long wanted to visit Loch Katrine where my great uncle used to enjoy fishing. However, it was not the fish that appealed to me, but rather the setting of Scott's poem 'The Lady of the Lake'. It is certainly a very beautiful and majestic area. I had already visited Dozmary Pool in Cornwall, home of another mythological Lady of the Lake (and my poem on the subject has been accepted by Reach Poetry, Indigo Dreams Press).

It was interesting to compare these two watery locations. Loch Katrine nestles among towering hills: Dozmary Pool seems to 'float' on a flat corner of Bodmin Moor, close to Jamaica Inn, with its Daphne DuMaurier connections.

While we were in Scotland, we also visited Sir Walter Scott's wonderful home of Abbotsford on the Tweed. It is worth seeing for the setting and architecture alone, but it was the artefacts that particularly caught my eye. There was an intriguing picture of the young Scott being presented to Robbie Burns by a female who was gently pushing him forward from behind. The picture highlighted for me the importance of the poetic relay race in which we find ourselves running. We beaver away in our own little garrets most of the time, but often find ourselves influenced - consciously or subconsciously - by that great number of poets who have gone before.

4 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love the Tweed, it is a lovely river - walked it in Peebles a few years ago - a heron every one hundred yards!
I do agree about poetry - I don't see how anyone can attempt to write it (at any level) without reading the great poets and hopefully being influenced by them.
RS Thomas, Gerard Manley-hopkins, Sylvia Plath - I never tire of their work. Tennyson I hold a soft spot for as he is a Lincolnshire poet (and I come from there) - alright so his work is a bit dated but when my dear friend died and had the chorus from the Lotos Eaters read at her funeral I found it very moving indeed.
Thanks for visiting my Kraken!

APRIL LORIER said...

Very nice, Caroline! I love the 2nd photo - so pristine! Re our last conversation, I am still remembering you in prayer. Love you!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the Tweed too! I like what you say about the poetic relay race, very true....

Mary said...

Lovely places! Congrats on getting your poem accepted.