29th February 2020
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

A poem for the morning after

It is a poem about reconciliation – and some might say its release has come not a moment too soon.

Edinburgh's Poet Laureate Christine De Luca.

Edinburgh’s Poet Laureate Christine De Luca.

Edinburgh’s Poet Laureate, Shetland-born Christine De Luca, has penned her latest work about the referendum debate.

Specifically, The Morning After is about exactly that – the dawn of a new day when Scotland wakes up to its future.

Mrs De Luca, who was named the capital’s “Makar” earlier this year, said she hoped the poem would bring people closer together at the end of an often divisive debate. But she said it was typical of Scots to be passionate about the subject.

“I hope it helps people just be more gracious to each other. The world is watching, and if we want to be a mature democracy, of whatever kind, we need to embrace the result and get on with it.

“It’s bound to raise heckles, and bound to raise the blood pressure. It’s very, very important – and if people didn’t get excited about it, that would be a shame. I suppose Scots are quite emotional, and quite passionate people.”

The third of a family of four, Mrs De Luca’s father, Sandy Pearson, hailed from Lunnasting while her mother, Jemima Halcrow, from Cunninsgburgh.



The morning after: Scotland, 19th September 2014

Let none wake despondent: one way
or another we have talked plainly,
tested ourselves, weighed up the sum
of our knowing, ta’en tent o scholars,
checked the balance sheet of risk and
fearlessness, of wisdom and of folly.

Was it about the powers we gain or how
we use them? We aim for more equality;
and for tomorrow to be more peaceful
than today; for fairness, opportunity,
the common weal; a hand stretched out
in ready hospitality.

It’s those unseen things that bind us,
not flag or battle-weary turf or tartan.
There are dragons to slay whatever happens:
poverty, false pride, snobbery, sectarian
schisms still hovering. But there’s
nothing broken that’s not repairable.

We’re a citizenry of bonnie fighters,
a gathered folk; a culture that imparts,
inspires, demands a rare devotion,
no back-tracking; that each should work
and play our several parts to bring about
the best in Scotland, an open heart.


About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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  1. Harry Dent

    Sentimental tripe.

    • joe johnson

      Harry dent there was no need for that comment. Show some respect

      • Robin Barclay

        Couldn’t agree more.

      • John Tulloch


        I agree with you, however, we have bigger fish to fry than Yes campaigners “sucking sour grapes”.

        The SIC is back closing schools, again.

      • Harry Dent

        In my opinion, this is a dreadful poem, devoid of literary merit.

        You’re entitled to a contrary opinion, but neither opinion has anything to do with “respect”

        If poets can’t take criticism, they shouldn’t publish.

    • Henry Condy

      Take it ,poetry is not your scene

    • Henry Condy

      I try to write poetry
      To Paint
      To let my inner soul fly free
      To muse, be jocular, full of wit
      Alas my endeavours usually
      Turn out as ,can’t think
      Of a rhyming word

  2. Andrew Magnie Thomson

    Lovely poem this Yes moaners will get a chance to vote for a political vote in May.

  3. jeffery crowe

    welcome back from the brink!


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