Poem Marks Bannockburn Anniversary
A new poem has been unveiled to mark the upcoming 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. The specially commissioned poem appears on a new timber ring crowning on the Rotunda Monument at the historic battle site.
The designer behind the original monument, Sir Robert Matthew, planned for it to bear an inscription however nothing had been inscribed since the monument was installed half a century ago. Expert carver Richard Douglas from Andrew Miller Architectural Joinery, based in Stirling, began the inscription works back in June.
Poet Kathleen Jamie, a professor of Creative Writing at Stirling University, said the poem was inspired by Scotland’s landscape and deep literary traditions. She said: “As Bannockburn is so important in Scottish history, it seemed proper to acknowledge our cultural traditions, especially poetry and song about landscape. From the start I wanted this piece of work to make a nod to the Scottish literary tradition and the Scottish landscape, to evoke the deep love of a country that makes one community out of many people.”
David McAllister, director of the Battle of Bannockburn project, said: “The Rotunda is the central place for commemoration of the Battle of Bannockburn and our intent is to continue that tradition of memorial and contemplation.”
“Kathleen’s poem encapsulates the essence of the Battle of Bannockburn project – introducing a contemporary take on the battle and the landscape while paying respect to the memory of this important moment in Scottish history.”
The inscription is part of a series of site-transformations happening at the battlefield in preparation for 2014’s anniversary commemorations. A weather-beaten statue of Robert the Bruce has already been restored and a state-of-the-art visitor centre is set to open in 2014.
Here lies our land: every airt
Beneath swift clouds, glad glints of sun,
Belonging to none but itself.
We are mere transients, who sing
Its westlin’ winds and fernie braes,
Northern lights and siller tides,
Small folk playing our part.
‘Come all ye’, the country says
You win me, who take me most to heart.