Monday, January 25, 2016


This one seems appropriate for Burns Night -

The Inventors    
(William Symington's pioneer steamboat, financed by the landowner, Patrick Miller, sailed on Dalswinton Loch in 1788. Robert Burns (d. 1796) is said to have been a passenger.)    
The claret goes round.    
Symington: ‘What say you, Burns?      
Are we not, like you, men of feeling    
with these sweet pairings of ours? Did you observe    
how the cylinder bids welcome to the piston,    
how iron is wedded to steam?’    
Burns replies, ‘And we bards    
grease our conceits, oil our metaphors,    
till our verses run as hot    
as a maid in her passion.’ They laugh.    
Maybe they’ll fish tomorrow.    
‘If there be any. We scared them off today.’    
He imagines a poem like a steamboat,    
word-rivets shining like constellations,    
a craft to navigate the unformed loch    
of a new century. He could build it, he thinks,    
if the muse is with him    
and twelve more years. 

No comments:

Post a Comment