Rampant Scotland Book Review
Land Lines - A Sneak Preview

Places influence writers. Writers also influence places, recreating them as landscapes of the mind in the reader's imagination. Land Lines explores through the writer's voice and the photographer's lens, the ever-changing territory and terrain, beyond the romantic tradition of legend and myth to present a contemporary perspective of the Scottish landscape, language and identity - the culture and history of a nation.

Let`s begin to turn the pages and begin this literary journey....

Extract from Chapter 1 - The Cool High Bens
The poet G F Dutton views an ancient rock, stranded in the middle of the 20th century:

that great stone
the shape of a brain
twisted and left there

out on the moor
crystals and fire
fisted within it.

often has seen
forests for down
their soil squandered,

seeds blown in
blown out again
ashes and iron

beneath it surrendered
it was begun
with the first star

is now a stone
sheltering foxes
out on the moor

often have men
marched through the dawn
to give it a name.

Extract from Chapter 2 - People of this Glen

History, myth and legend - what is the truth of our land and people? The writer A L Kennedy tells the story of Glen Flaspog:

"The dreadful Massacre of the McIvers, perpetrated by the Evil Red McIver upon his own kinsmen .. The evil Red McIver's band of One Hundred Renegades was famed for an unswerving loyalty to its chief. Any member of the Band would willingly jump from the top of the Falls of McIver to his death at the merest nod of his leader's head... "

None of this is true of course, but it is far more interesting than a brown and green glen with rocky grey bits and a couple of sheep.

From Chapter 4 - Water music:

Our great lochs and rivers dominate the land and offer powerful images as Nan Shepherd witnesses high on the Cairngorms -

"Here and there in the moss a few white stone have been piled together. I go to see them, and water is welling up, strong and copious, pure cold water that flows away in rivulets and drops over the rock. These are the Wells of the Dee. This is the river. Like all profound mysteries, it is so simple that it frightens me. For unnumbered years it has welled from the rock and flowed away"
The sound of water trickles through the poetry of Hugh McDiarmid. Here he is recalling the rivers he knew as a boy near Langholm:
"Pride of play in a flourish of eddies
Bravura of blowballs and silver digressions
Ringing and glittering she swirls and steadies
And moulds each ripple with secret suppressions."

Next page > Sneak Preview (2) > Page 1, 2, 3, 4.

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