by Stephanie Green
(On 22nd May, 1865, Alexander Carmichael, collector of Gaelic folklore, songs and poetry, travelled to St Kilda to meet their bard, Euphemia, aged 84. )
The world grows dark. Winds howl
round my Taigh Dhu as I tend
my lamp, filling it with fulmar oil.
Exiled in my own house. Mocked by the minister:
Give up your foolishness. At your age,
you should be thinking of your eternal home.
A stranger sought me out, led
by an excited crowd of villagers,
curious, enthralled – visitors so rare.
He begged for the gift of my voice.
I sang, straining over the hubbub,
the shouting children, barking dogs,
while he scribbled down what he could.
He promised to return but he never did.
I have so much more: hymns to the old gods,
the sun and moon, stars and waters,
love songs and laments for those gone over,
keening like smoke turning in the air.
|Six Poems on the Leaving of St Kilda|
|Euphemia MacCrimmond||Poem by Stephanie Green|
|I might as well be a widow (1900)||Poem by Stephanie Green|
|I tell my husband I am pregnant and he sets out to make a tiny coffin (1891)||Poem by Stephanie Green|
|The Boat Cold||Poem by Stephanie Green|
|The Leaving of St Kilda (1930)||Poem by Stephanie Green|
|Walking on Air in Gannet Slippers||Poem by Stephanie Green|