This week we received a poem from Edinburgh-based poet Tessa Ransford, which we were so moved by, it seemed only natural it be given a special update, duly named Poem Vision of the Week. Tessa is an acclaimed, much published poet, translator, reviewer and essayist. Her work has spanned five decades with the publication of 16 book compilations of poems and in founding the much loved Scottish Poetry Library.
We’re delighted that Tessa took time out from her busy schedule to write a very personal Dearest Scotland poem which can be read in full below…
Dearest Scotland by Tessa Ransford
I used to walk down the Canongate, empty and dark,
after another day at the Poetry Library
whose very existence depended on my work
however exhausted I was, drained and hungry;
but I had a tryst to keep with Scottish poetry;
and I’d compare myself to my seafaring ancestor
who sailed to Australia in a Clyde paddle-steamer.
If he overcame the dangerous currents and oceans,
attacks by pirates and running out of fuel,
I could surely sail on with minimum funds
when I had a chart, a vision and a goal
with a volunteer crew of experts, friends and faithful
navigators; like ancient Celtic adventurers
we set afloat a curragh of poetry practitioners.
Such risk in action brings its accompaniment
and gathers its own momentum and impetus.
To wait and see or slump in bewilderment
will never achieve our destiny, our bliss.
To make our own decisions and choose our course
will see us voyage ahead on a life of adventure
and find our way to the next desirable harbour.