Poets’ Resignations/Battlefield for Sale/Most Popular Hymns – Poetry News Roundup October 2nd

Today’s poetry news round-up takes a look at the poets who have resigned from the Scottish Poetry Library. We look at the historic battlefield with poetic connections that is up for sale and finally the hymns that have been voted the most popular in 2019.

Resignation of Leading Writers Rocks Scottish Poetry Library

Four of the leading writers in the Scottish literary world have thrown the Scottish Poetry Library into turmoil as they have severed their links suddenly. They have made their decision in order to protest at the way in which it was being run.

The four members who have resigned are Liz Lochhead, the former Scots Makar, Michael Longley, Douglas Dunn and Aonghas MacNeacail. Since their resignation, they have requested that all mention of their names be removed from the website of the Library.

The rift that has emerged is a result of previous protests which have been brought about regarding the leadership of the library and the fact that several members have left.

The library was set up in 1984 and 20 years ago moved to its current home in a purpose-built building near the Scottish Parliament.

Concerns regarding the library had previously been raised by the current Scots Makar, Jackie Kay and the former UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Historic Battlefield Seeks Buyer

The historic battlefield of Carbisdale which is near Bonar Bridge, Sutherland has gone up for sale with an asking price of offers in the region of £70,000. This news is sure to be popular with history enthusiasts.

In 1650, this site was where the 1st Marquis of Montrose, James Graham fought what was to be his last battle for the royalist cause.

Graham was not only a military genius and a patriotic Scot but also a poet. It is hoped that in addition to attracting the attention of history enthusiasts the site will be of interest to those with an interest in Graham himself.

The site is 53 acres of pine woodland, open burns and heather moor. Half is designated as native woodland but there is potential to build a family home on the land.

The Nation’s Favourite Hymn

The hymn Jerusalem has been voted the favourite hymn in the UK. Inspired by William Blake’s 1803 poem the hymn was set to music that was written by Sir Hubert Parry. The second most popular hymn on the list, How Great Thou Art, was also inspired by a poem, one written by Carl Boberg. Third place on the list was taken by a much more modern hymn, In Christ Alone which was written in 2001.

The list has changed quite a bit since the last time members of the public voted on their favourite hymns. In 2013 Jerusalem wasn’t even on the list.

Three other hymns in the top 10 also owe their inspiration to poets. Dear Lord and Father of Mankind was inspired by a longer poem written by John Greenleaf Whittier, I Vow to Thee, My Country was created when Sir Cecil Spring-Rice had a poem set to music, and Amazing Grace was of course written by John Newton, the English poet who was also an Anglican clergyman.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.