Monthly Archive: October 2015

The Three Rabbies: Fergusson, Burns and Stevenson

Robert Fergusson & friends

David Reid, chair of the RLS Club, poet Rab Wilson and me with the wreathed statue of Robert Fergusson

Friday 15th October was the anniversary of the death – sadly in his early twenties – of one of Scotland’s great poets, Robert Fergusson (1750-1774). It was marked by an event organised by the Scottish Arts Club at the Canongate Kirkyard where he is buried, and where Robert Burns later had a headstone erected for him. Robert Louis Stevenson had also been inspired by Fergusson’s poetry.

There were three brief talks: the poet Rab Wilson on Burns, David Reid (chairman of the RLS Club) on Stevenson and I did a short offering on Fergusson. Lesley Duncan, Poetry Editor of the Herald,put a lovely simple wreath round the neck of Fergusson’s statue, already a much-loved feature of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

National Poetry Day 2015

Today the huge banner bearing the poem Spiral by much-admired poet Elizabeth Burns was unveiled in the Canongate.  It is a collaboration between the New Waverley (re-development) project and the adjacent Scottish Poetry Library.  The poem was chosen by the public by means of an online poll.  It’s a deceptively simple poem, built on the image of the potter’s craft, but hints at the intangible and invisible aspects of life.

Sadly Elizabeth died in August.  However, her husband Alan, mother Muriel and sister Ali Burns were there to share in the occasion.

NPDay 2015 - Poem by Elizabeth Burns

Makar with family of poet Elizabeth Burns