Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday poetry - Longing & Waiting

A short poem but a lovely one today. George Mackay Brown (photo from here) was an Orkney poet & writer. I know Desperate Reader is a big fan, here's just one of her posts about him, but I haven't read much of his work. Only a little poetry & a few short stories. I'm reading quite a bit of Scottish history & fiction at the moment as well as this lovely anthology of Scottish Love Poetry so I may have to investigate Mackay Brown further. This poem, Fiddler's Song, appealed to me because it reminds me of an old ballad like The Unquiet Grave or The Demon Lover. Especially the last line with its practical bluntness. I wonder if the speaker has designs on the mourning lady himself?

The storm is over, lady.
The sea makes no more sound.
What do you wait for, lady?
His yellow hair is drowned.

The waves go quiet, lady,
Like sheep into the fold.
What do you wait for, lady?
His kissing mouth is cold.


  1. Ahh i love this. Short but oh-so sweet.

    i loved the last line. Its so ghostly and ethereal.

    Happy Sunday!

  2. I do love Mackay Brown, but somehow haven't read much of his poetry. Something that I'll have to change, thanks for this one and the timely push.

  3. I really like GMB, and love Orkney. I've written about his novels for reference books. A short thing I wrote on him is at

  4. Thanks for the link Rob. I don't know much about GMB's life so I'll look forward to reading further.

  5. There's a wbsite at:

    He has a magical way with words.

    1. Thanks for the link David. I do want to read more of his work one of these days.