Scottish Poetry Selection
- Flittin'

This Poem by John Buchanan brings home the nightmare of moving house, which most of us have to endure at some time or other.


Ye may lay yer plans aforehaun',
Days afore it gin ye care,
Ha'e the cheenie nately packit,
An' the wa's a' strippit bare;
The chair-bottoms tied thegither,
An' the extra bed taen doon;
But ye're no' much faurer forrit
When the flittin' day comes roun'.

It's the larry's late in comin';
An' the chairs a' biggit oot
On the plainstanes, wi' the kettles
An' the fire-arms roun' aboot;
An' the room-things in a bourock
By a caff-bed hidden fine
Frae the neibours at the windies
Teetin' by the hauf-drawn blin'.

Syne a drizzle starts at loadin'
An' things need anither dicht,
While the ban-boxes an' blankets
Are quick hurried oot o' sicht;
An' the larry's no richt raipit
When Tam tim'les in the glaur
An' him to haund the lookin'-glass -
Could it ever happen waur?

Deed a flittin's unco tryin',
Efter a' is said an' dune;
But it's waur whan ane's oot-gaein'
As the ither's comin' in.
For they're sure to cast oot someway
Argie-bargie syne an' flyte,
While the jostlin' an' the wanglin'
Wad near drive a body gyte.

Well, I hivna flittit aften
Mebbe thrice in thretty year;
But guid health an' fortune fa'ur me.
Neer again I'll seek to steer;
For the thocht o' bygone trauchle
Is a nichtmare to me yet
An' gin I can get my way o't,
I' their lums, it's me they'll flit.

Meaning of unusual words:
faurer forrit=further forward
a' biggit oot=all piled out
plainstanes=paving stones
bourock=home, house
caff-bed=bed made from chaff
tim'les in the glaur=falls in the mud
Argie-bargie syne an' flyte=argue soon and scold
trauchle=struggle, hard time

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