Sunday, 17 February 2013

Of the Monstrous Regiment

Am looking forward very much to our next meeting - Poetry Reading and Afternoon Tea at historic Carberry House Hotel on 17th. March. Full details will be e-mailed to members or will in the post within the next 48 hours.

 Meantime thought it very appropriate that this week's "Poem of the Week" in the Scotsman Magazine should be  "On the Monstrous Regiment"  by Henry Marsh

Henry Marsh has written  quite a few poems on Mary and John Knox and will be reciting a number of them  at the Scottish Poetry Library off the Canongate  (above) on Wednesday evening at 6.30 - just sorry I am not going to manage along.

 The poem:

Were you fed by ravens

Master Knox? At the least,

your zealous brethern

obliged with a wilderness,

where you could approve,

crows nodding

amongst shards and ashes.


Jezebel- how convenient

the heft of the old stories

a stolen vineyard,

 Naboth stoned,

and Yahweh harrying,

your captive souls,

 half demented.


How neat to cast

 our mischievous Marys

in one image

a painted whore.

Did you ever catch

in the mirror your own

soul's darker strands?


Thou shall die the death-

even Calvin winced

at regicide. Were not all

equal in the sight of God?

But who dares walk

that perilous ridge

between iniquities.


 Find it a thought provoking if somewhat dark poem.

 Probably a bit unfair to suggest Knox preached regicide - not aware that he ever did so and why in the third verse is Mary(mischievous) in the plural (was he purporting to refer to the four Marys or perhaps including Mary Tudor - or a simple typo?)



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Marie Stuart News

Marie Stuart News
by Anne Gwynn

Being a keen member of the Marie Stuart Society I would like to share some interesting facts about the Queen of Scots which have come to my notice this week.
1.       As Valentine’s Day approaches, it appears that Marie met her 2nd. husband at Wemyss Castle   in Fife on the 14th. of February, 1565.  Not a lucky day for her as it transpired.  This little gem was found in the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute magazine.

2.   The next two discoveries were contained in the Scots Heritage Magazine.  This is an excellent, quarterly publication which is printed in Australia. It has the most beautiful photographs and well written articles on all things Scottish. It states that in 1566 Marie spent a night at Langton Castle near Duns in the Borders. The house was built in the 1100s and was demolished in 1950.
3.    The other reference to Marie in this publication is that whilst staying at Blair Castle in 1563 she shot a wolf on a hunt in the Forest of Atholl.


 4.    Innerpeffary Library, (above) near Crieff, founded by David, Lord Madderty, is Scotland’s oldest lending library. An exhibition there which will run for a year from March 1st. is entitled ‘Crime and Punishment’. On show will be commentaries from ancient books in the Library’s collection of famous trials such as those of Mary, Queen of Scots and James Stewart of the Glen (the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s 'Kidnapped') , as well as Archbishop Laud’s sermon from the scaffold which opens with the line ”This is an uncomfortable time to preach….” 

 5.   Lastly the National Museum of Scotland will mount an exhibition opening on 28th. June,  providing  an opportunity to revisit much that has been written and speculated about one of our most charismatic monarchs: Mary, Queen of Scots.  It will take a fresh approach using jewels, textiles, furniture, documents and portraits. Marie’s dramatic story and this fascinating period of Scottish history will be explored in detail.    Don’t miss it!