Louie’s poetic prowess rewarded with dialect prize

The Anderson High School English department’s annual dialect writing competition “Mindin John Graham wi da best o wirds” has been won by Louie Gray.

The competition, for first and second-year pupils, is held in the memory of the school’s former headmaster, a man who was well known for his love of the Shetland dialect.

The pupils get the chance to take part in the competition as the English department encourages the use of the dialect in creative writing. The prize was also a way to draw them in as the winner receives a lovely trophy and a £50 gift token for either The Shetland Times Bookshop or Clive’s Record Shop.

The competition was a hit with over 50 different stories, poems and short plays entered. These entries were cut down to the best 20 and Nat Hall, a keen writer, agreed to judge the shortlisted entries to make the competition fair.

Louie was announced the winner with his poem Hermaness and he was awarded the trophy and gift token of his choice.

Nat also picked Ailidh Risk’s poem Mirrie Dancers and Lynsey Morrison’s untitled poem as the two runners-up and they received certificates.

Hermaness We glindered, stoorin’ up da gaet Marvelin’ at da sight o’ da sun Smilin’ up a da sky Leadin’ wis on wir way Ta da land o’ da ferns An da Tysties dat wid be As we picked wir way doon a da lee An da shrieks dat wid be If me peerie sister should be gluffed by een So on an on we geed We dad takin’ da lead Da wind it swept awa A da webs dat had gaddered in da car Ta mak way fir a fresh start So alang da custom widen tracks we tramped Bein’ careful no ta step a da stank Da wind it blew Wir spirits flew Oot above da ocean blue I swam a da music Dat fae my pocket did stream Fir whit I wis experiencin’ Wis somethin’ fae a dream Dat had slept a da sea Fur see many a lang year As we breathed Da heavenly seas careered As dey had through da years Wir moods danced An dir wis a chance Dat I wis goin’ ta spill oer Paddlin’ a da shore An somethin’ more I wis ganna soar But whitever way you want ta tink it Ta somethin’ you’ll be able ta link it Dis doesna concern da sand, seas and rocks But somethin’ dat will float an niver rot A da time dat a-body forgot.

But in spirit I’m forever dere We da coorse wind blowin’ a me hair.

Louie Gray


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