Temple and Tartan

Temple and Tartan

Handsel Press

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Temple and Tartan has poetry responding to the five books of Psalms in the Old Testament. One of the sets of poems, ‘Journey’, compares King David with Robert the Bruce, another reflects on the tragedy of The Iolaire and Calvinism in the Highlands and Islands, called ‘Pibroch’ since it is written in that shape. Five chapters introduce the poetry, and explain how a poet works as Enquirer, Curator, Prophet, Singer and Celebrant. The book brings out the links between Psalms and Scotland.

One set of poems is called ‘Carpet’, since the reader is on a magic carpet travelling anywhere in the universe of thought and application; another is ‘Migrants’, telling stories of modern migration, inspired by the Jewish experience of exile in Babylon and return; and the final section of poetry is called ‘Tapestry’, weaving a conclusion to the book, which has woven connections between Psalms, poetry more generally, Scottish history and modern politics as well as the personal joys and sorrows which the Psalms touch on.

While Temple and Tartan illustrates how Psalms have been important for Scotland in personal and political history, the relevance of the book is not confined to any one country.

There is a CD of poems on the first book of Psalms, read by the author, included with the book – CDs of later poems will be available soon from Sanctus Media.

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