Hamish M Anstruther
Why write poetry, Poet?
Writing poetry allows me freedom of expression and provides the medium through which I can comment on life and all its vagaries. It is also an opportunity to be creative and keep the mind active, while trying to capture in words, a mood or a perception of the human condition. Part of the pleasure in writing poetry is derived from finding the appropriate words and arranging them in a way which best describes a subject, while trying to fit them into the structure of the verse.
How did you get started writing poetry?
While at school in Scotland I was introduced to poetry at an early age. Without understanding much about it, I seemed to enjoy the rhyme and the lilt which I heard in the poetry, and this helped me to clearly differentiate it from prose writing. One thing I did realise at that young age was, that it took a greater degree of writing skill to achieve this effect, so I attempted to write some poetry of my own, all of which has been buried in the past.
Who were your influences?
Later in life, when the art of poetry began to make more sense to me, I began to appreciate the use of language, diction, imagery and the freedom enjoyed by poets through poetic license. I noticed how this afforded them the ability to alter the meanings of words and to evoke a particular sensibility of feeling in a poem.
My greatest influences were, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, The Scottish Ballads, William Topaz McGonagall, Simon Taylor Coleridge, Robert Frost, Percy B Shelley, William Shakespeare, Alfred Tennyson and William Wordsworth - and a few others.
What is your favourite poetic verse?
It is difficult to single out one, because there are so many, but I especially like a verse from "Ae Fond Kiss", a song by Robert Burns.
I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met--or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.
Examples of poetry.
Who are the Scots?
From the 14th century, the Scots language, which was derived from English, became more prevalent in the country. It is a language having its own unique grammatical style and vocabulary and was spoken across Scotland, even by royalty. This language predominated until the Union of the Crowns in the 17th century. The works of Robert Burns, Scotland's most famous poet, contain many examples of the old Scots language.