Delivered as part of Edinburgh’s successful ‘City of Literature’ presentation in the UNESCO building, Paris, 13th Oct 2004
We come wearing neither the sackcloth
of supplicants, nor the helmet of presumption,
but on winged sandals of aspiration,
bearing the triple-edged sword
of language; confident as guardians
of the written word that borders are best
kept open, through the traffic of tongues.
Emissaries for Scotland and her capital
past, present and future,
the hand-fast we proffer confirms
our belief that a nation’s blood-flow
is enhanced and enriched by
transfusion from other cultures:
a sharing of the heart’s vocabulary.