SCOTLAND Makar Kathleen Jamie has penned a new poem to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death at Balmoral last week.
The role of the Makar (National Poet) of Scotland is to produce works related to significant national events and to promote poetry across the country.
The poem, titled Lochnagar is Jamie’s fourth work of poetry since being nominated for the role in 2021.
About the poem, Kathleen said, “The role of a Makar is to bring poetry into the heart of our national life.
“With an extraordinary national event like the one we are currently having, I felt it behooved me to do a poem for the occasion. I chose to do it in an old-fashioned form to represent the virtues that many people found in the queen, of constancy and tradition.
“The poem speaks to the landscape. In this I find I can have something in common with the Queen: a love of the Scottish landscape. So when I was thinking about how to do the poem, my imagination turned to that part of the Scottish landscape that she loved so much.
The alder branches hang heavily,
Red weighs the mountain ash trees
This line the beloved path that rises
To Lochnagar from Dee
And finally knows the open hill,
Those ancient heights sharpened by the wind
Where the deer stand shy and lined up against the sky,
Then disappear from sight of the living,
Where sorrow is ice and history
It’s a distant troubled sky,
where time chases time
Across the lands she strove
Serve, and served supremely well,
Until the call comes from afar:
Back to the land kept in his heart,
the Dee and Lochnagar.