My friend poet/writer/reviewer Carol-Ann Hoyte sent me some links to poems and readings by Scottish poet Jackie Kay. I finally got around to listening to her poems and interview the other day while I was doing some brainless puttering. Wow. I must get her collections. Here’s the middle portion of one poem I really loved. It’s called Old Tongue, and it’s about a child moving away from Scotland and losing her accent (though Kay’s is lovely and strong!).
From Old Tongue
My own vowels started to stretch like my bones
and I turned my back on Scotland.
Words disappeared in the dead of night,
new words marched in: ghastly, awful,
quite dreadful, scones said like stones.
Pokey hats into ice cream cones.
Oh where did all my words go —
my old words, my lost words?
Did you ever feel sad when you lost a word,
did you ever try and call it back
like calling in the sea?
If I could have found my words wandering,
I swear I would have taken them in,
swallowed them whole, knocked them back.
You can read the entire poem here (and hear Kay read it, if you like).
To learn more about Jackie Kay, you can check out her page at the Poetry Archive. You can listen to the interview I listened to here. I don’t generally listen to many interviews online, but this was wonderful! It focused a fair amount on Kay’s adoption, her search for identity, what happened when she met (separately) her birth parents, and more. And I see her page on the Poetry Archive has a link to an interview that actually includes some poetry tips, so I’ll be checking that one out, too.
Susan Taylor Brown has the Poetry Friday Roundup today.
Go ahead…treat yourself!