Scotland’s Shame

Scotland’s Shame 
There are children jumping in front of trains , and grown men throwing bricks through window panes.
An old woman drowning out her sorrow by voting for the devils of tomorrow.

There are qualified girls lining up for food , and young boys disguising their face with a hood.
Polite ladies burning up my book , whilst their dearest darlings get up to no good. Kicking the life out of a man until his lips turn to blue.

For I have seen your likes before , I have already chapped this door and ran away I never stay. In the dark I stiffly lay.

For they are you and they are me. Scotland’s shame to the highest degree.
Sentence me with immortality.

You are people in textbooks no more , which teenagers think are just a bore.

For we have slept here before.

Then I Grew

I wake screaming in the night

God’s grip around me hard and tight.

As blackie watches from the windowsill

Oh I wish, I pray I could see him still.

But I am blind and I am bitter

I sit and wait for the harsh winter.

 

If only he could see me now

His frown a downturned smile

of victory

oh not oh not for me

 

For here I sit and slowly decay.

I cough and splutter in the rain

grow restless at the passing days.

 

As a child, I thought you were the only one.

Oh pretty blackbird

but as I grew

I looked and knew that there were many of you.

 

Yet still I glance through the windowpane

Stained with dirt and grit and fingerprints of many.

I think of you

oh pretty blackbird

The true love I only knew

but then I grew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Is Happiness So Hard To Find In Art?

She said It was depressing, but then life always was a bitter lesson. 

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Why is happiness so hard to find in art? Was a question that plagued my mind today. Maybe its because we’re all miserable cows or perhaps its because most adults don’t relate to tales about happy, content little bunny rabbits.

As a child, I was as joyful as most but as I grew I became more withdrawn and well.  Depressed. Neurosis plagued me from a young age. Whenever we played piggy in the middle I was always the piggy who could never catch any of my friends. In team sports, I was always last to be picked. At playtime, my peers always had better biscuits and would never share with me. Bitter resentment grew in me towards life. I wanted an answer. I wanted the truth. Books were a source of escapism for me. As cliche as it sounds, I was the book worm of the class. Yet I wouldn’t say this made me the smartest. I still struggled with figures and somehow my reports never got a place on that wall, nor did I get into the final of the scots verse team despite having a passion for burns from a young age. I can still recite Epistle To Hugh parker word for word a poem that was forgotten and pushed into the shadows by most.

In high school, it seemed my anxiety came to a peak. Out of the hundreds of young adults, I struggled to find friends. Yet this wasn’t a place you wanted to be associated with books at lunchtimes, or at least not in my school. At break times I would line up in the dinner card que only for the single reason not to look like a loner. I cared too much about what people thought, but don’t we all?

However back to the question at hand. Why is art so depressing. Or why are artists so depressing. Why did Plath put her head in an oven, why did Van Gough paint beautiful flowers and then chop off his ear and then later blow out his brains? Why are we all so mental? Is it because life is mental, do we deep down need a reason as to why we exist? Why did Stalin and Hitler kill millions? Why did Andrew Carnegie exploit his workers despite growing up poor, why did burns preach about freedom then desire to be a slave driver? Why? Why? Why? We Ask. I wish I could give you an answer. Pain, money, hate, emptiness, mental illness. Death.

I think my opinion is that we need art to give us a reason to live. We see ourselves through others. It gives us meaning. Perhaps it’s not that art is depressing, maybe it’s just too close to the truth.

Ten Things Ive learned In my 19 Years

 

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1.sometimes people are wrong. Wither its your parents or proffesionals sometimes it better just not to listen.

2.Stay In School No matter how hard it gets. When people say you’l regret it you honestly will. Dont give in to opression. As the quote goes education is our greatest weapon.

3 Avoid psyciatric hospitals at all costs. You know when you hear about writers being depressed its kinda a sterotype.Honestly being admited to hospital  will make your health so much worse as no one wants to be degraded and treated like shit the way they do in hospital.

4.Its ok not to be ok-  Sometimes you have to give yourself a break. No ones perfect and you probably are doing your best. Minus the breakdown.

5.Remember who the real enemy is – You may have had a bad experience in life that turns you bitter. You may look for someone to blame your family , your friends , yourself. You have to remember that its not these peoples fault. Its just the fascist society we live in. If anything its moneys fault because the world revolves around it.

6.Go easy on the chocolate – As nice as it is. You will gain weight.

7.Smoking isnt always bad – All you see over the packets of ciggerettes are warnings not to do it. Honestly though I think smoking has helped me. It helps mask panic attacks , gets me to go outside more which elievates depression , helps me mentain my weight and can be used as inspiration. Most of my ideas for poems and prose pieces have happend over a fag. To be honest I wish Ide started it sooner.

8.Its hard being a young woman – I know. Its hard being a woman. Its hard being second best. If your poor and a woman its hard being like 10th best. Try and do things that empower you and help convince you your not just scum of the earth. Read books by female authors watch films with female actresses , listen to music sung by females. Go to clubs with other woman. Just know that we all feel the same.

9.ts Natural to worry about the future – Will I ever get a job? Will I be a bad mother? Will my partner leave me ? Its natural

10.Dont let other people bring you down – This kinda ties into my first suggestion. Dont listen to nasty people. Dont listen when your called a bum , dont let it get to you when people at the Job centre look down their snots at you. You are great, you are you!!!

Aunt Julia Analysis

:Please note this is my own interpretation of the poem by the writer Norman MacCaig and may not be correct.

Aunt Julia Is one of my favourite poems by MacCaig. Its quite a melancholy poem and has connotations to death. Yet MacCaigs depiction of his Aunt Julia is a very fond one.

Stanza one

Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic
very loud and very fast.
I could not answer her —
I could not understand her.

In this stanza we are introduced to the main character of the poem Aunt Julia. We are told that she speaks Gaelic this immediately tells us there is a communication barrier. “I could not answer her – I could not understand her” This for me also has connotations of death “I could not answer her ” shows his desperation and grief and also shows us that MacCaig perhaps feels guilty about his relationship with his aunt that he never really understood her and never will understand her.

Stanza Two

She wore men’s boots
when she wore any.
— I can see her strong foot,
stained with peat,
paddling with the treadle of the spinningwheel
while her right hand drew yarn
marvellously out of the air.

In stanza two the opening lines are “She wore men’s boots when she wore any” This shows that she is perhaps a very tough woman who almost takes on a mans role. “I can see her strong foot stained with peat” This reveals that the character is a woman of the land. “Paddling with the treadle of the spinning wheel while her right hand drew yarn marvellously out of the air” This shows a more domesticated side to Aunt Julia. This is a skill heavily associated with island life – Harris is famous for producing tweed. The word choice of “Marvellously” shows the young MacCaigs admiration and fondness for his aunt. The use of the present tense throughout this stanza creates a sense of immediacy and shows how vividly and readily he can still access these memories.

Stanza Three

Hers was the only house
where I’ve lain at night
in the absolute darkness
of a box bed, listening to
crickets being friendly.

MacCaig decides to open the stanza with the word choice of hers. Which shows his affection for her and the bond they had. In the absolute darkness again has connotations of death and reiterates the theme to the reader with the darkness being symbolic of death and despair. It has links to the final stanza where Aunt Julia is “Silenced in the absolute black”

Stanza Four 

She was buckets
and water flouncing into them.
She was winds pouring wetly
round house-ends.
She was brown eggs, black skirts
and a keeper of threepennybits
in a teapot.

The writer uses personification and metaphors in this stanza to connect Aunt Julia to the landscape and objects. MacCaig connects his aunt with mundane domestic objects which symbolise her simple minimalistic lifestyle. “She was winds pouring wetly round house-ends” This connects his aunt to nature and is also perhaps symbolic of his despair.

Stanza five

Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic
very loud and very fast.
By the time I had learned
a little, she lay
silenced in the absolute black
of a sandy grave
at Luskentyre. But I hear her still, welcoming me
with a seagull’s voice
across a hundred yards
of peat scrapes and lazybeds
and getting angry, getting angry
with so many questions
unanswered.

The main theme of death is shown in the last stanza. There is a bitter despair to MacCaigs tone. He uses the word choice of “Silenced” to suggest perhaps Aunt Julia lived her whole life in silence isolated by the communication barrier and her geographical area. “In the absolute black” Is again symbolic of death.

 

 

August

The lethargic traipsing days of august
Signify the winding down of summer
And stirs up past memories of youth
To the forefront of our minds.
For our soul to replay and scrutinise.
As we walk in a constant state of stupor in the time between
Rising from sheets and covers.
In anticipation of returning to them again.
To pick through moments of the past with a thin tooth comb
Like burning bleach against bare skin
and then releasing suddenly.
let go to drift as rich green leaves
and be picked up and shepherd listlessly by the breeze.
The bitter remains of them only conscious to us as a distant sour smell from the drain at the end of the street.

Seagulls trail the polluted grey sky above
Their silhouettes, plump fully grown and of the purest white
Catching the corners of the sky with their wings, slicing through the polluted grey clouds
To reveal sacred patches of the clearest blue.
In seaside towns.
In the inner urban towns, sickly and diseased
Their bodies Decaying on top of plastic bus shelters
Stragglers One-day closer to death.