International Mother Language Day #AneYinWan

21 February 2019

To celebrate International Mother Language Day, a number of agencies and cultural organisations across Scotland are taking the opportunity to run a positive Scots campaign with the hashtag #AneYinWan, celebrating the diversity of Scots. So to link in with that, we thought we'd share Rab Wilson's poem 'The Smiddy', which he wrote for us back in 2016 as part of our Wigtown Ghost Map, a project where we asked writers to compose work about some of Wigtown's old buildings.

Image: Robin Gillanders

The Smiddy; Low Vennel

For Anne Barclay

Here Burnewin stuid tyauvin at his bellows,
Syne frae the coals a pleuch-share blade wis taen,
Lowes cherry-rid, an's oan his anvil lain,
Whiles cley pipes stapt in mou gawp some auld fellows,
Wha'd crood the Smiddy-End tae hear the crack.
Auld Turner'd rax his haund oot fir the Mundy,
Gie't ten guid licks fore dippin in the cundy,
Tae cool it doun bi ladlin oot some caps
O watter frae the Pultroit Burn, steam cloods
Wid rise as Turner eyed the iron fettled,
Fit fir purpose aince agane he'd ettle;
Tae turn the rich daurk loam o Wigtown's clods.
Low Vennel forge lang's dwined awa fir aye;
A muckle Fendt wi nine-furrow rig roars by.

by Rab Wilson