31 October 2013

Atween the dark an' caun'le licht

If I asked you to name famous Scottish poets, you would probably name Robert Burns, Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. You would probably know Hugh Macdiarmid, and the very well-informed would know Robert Henryson, William Dunbar and Gavin Douglas.

However, you would probably not include the name of Violet Jacob.



Violet Jacob was a contemporary and friend of Hugh Macdiarmid, a writer of short stories, novels, and poems, but is not as well known as she deserves to be. A few of her poems are online at Poets' Corner, and Songs of Angus / More Songs of Angus are available at Project Gutenberg. I commend them to your attention; she was a fine poet in both Scots and English.

Here is her lovely, sad 'Hallowe'en' as set to music by another native of Angus, the late Jim Reid, and performed by Sheena Wellington and Karine Polwart. You can find the words at Poets' Corner.


  1. Is the boy in the picture carving turnips?

    1. yep! Prior to the great pumpkin invasion of ... er, some year, turnips (rutabagas/swedes in particular) were carved into lanterns.


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