Author Archives: Elizabeth

The Charm of Nine Herbs

I’ve been making a translation of the Old English Lacnunga, usually translated as The Charm of Nine Herbs. This glamorous one is mugwort ‘the first and the oldest of herbs’. The best guess of what the nine herbs are (and this is in serious dispute) is: mugwort plantain stonecrop nettle betony (possibly cockspur grass, but… Read More »

The Year on the Turn

Not a great picture, but the best I could do at the time. We have hit that time of year. The children are back at school, the rowans are red – though the birds don’t seem too bothered just yet – and there are geese overhead in the twilit sky. These are not the migratory… Read More »

What I’m Reading in August

A couple of weeks ago we went to see the Celts exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland (fascinating, and on until the 25th September if you haven’t seen it), and so I’ve been reading The Celts by Nora Chadwick. It is an old book – I got it in a secondhand bookshop – and… Read More »

Grounded Poetics – Coleridge’s Frost at Midnight

The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. And so begins my favourite poem by Coleridge. When I was younger I liked Coleridge’s poems better than Wordsworth’s – the language so much more precise, the imagery more vivid, the pace more varied and the tone so much less didactic. Now I am not… Read More »

Latest News August

Last week Keith Parker who hosts the facebook group Poetry Talk, was kind enough to publish this lovely review of The Territory of Rain. He has given me permission to share it here. Review by Keith Parker Also, Soundwaves, this year’s anthology of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) was launched. It is, at 320 pages,… Read More »

What I’m Reading

I’ve always had a thing about wrens. I think it may have had something to do with being small myself, and the fact that wrens were usually known as ‘jenny’, which was something of a rarity in the macho bird-watching culture I grew up in. Later I rather liked the fact that they are pretty… Read More »

Lavender’s blue

Well, you’d think, wouldn’t you. But sometimes lavender can look like this – lavender stoechas, possibly ‘Avignon’ or this Which is lavender rosea, or this which is lavender alba. They are all flowering their lovely heads off, and I’ve taken cuttings. With luck there will be some to share with poets at the Callander Poetry… Read More »

Callander Summerfest

As part of Callander’s Summerfest festival , Die-hard Publishers (Sally Evans and Ian King, who also run the wonderfull Main Street Bookshop) have organised the launch of Callander Haiku a lovely book,  about Callander and its stunning surrounding landscape. The launch will take place in St Kessog’s Kirk Theatre, the Square, Callander at 8:00, on… Read More »