Today’s post is for my pal M.B.Henry, who is a writer and historian, and writes poignant war poetry. Her awesome wesite can be found if you clickety click HERE
A few outings ago, in one of the stately homes we visited, we found a room full of second-hand books that people donate, and visitors can buy for a small donation. I loved the fact that there was no shop assistant or till in the book room, just a suggestion of what to donate. It was nice to feel trusted. I saw this book of War poetry published in 1920, and immediately thought of M.B, and promised I’d photograph it for her.
I can find very little out about the lady who wrote it, Elsie S Rae, other than “Elsie S. Rae of Banffshire. Elsie Ray was the wife of the Rev. Robert Wilson. Her verse collections include ‘Private John McPherson’ (1917) and ‘Hansel Fae Home and other Scots Poems’ (1927).” From the Doric Dialects & Doric Poets of North East Scotland website.
The poems are all written in Doric verse. ““Doric is a name given to broad and rustic dialect. Deriving from that spoken by the Dorians in ancient Greece, it has been applied in more recent times to the dialects of England and of Scotland, while in Scotland itself the term refers pre-eminently to the dialect of the Scots language which is spoken in the north-eastern corner of the country.”
I have read through a lot of the poems, they are all told from different soldiers and sailors viewpoints, as well as from Mothers and wives, and more than one has brought me to tears. The Doric dialect isn’t easy, but you can get the gist very well.
I am including the introduction to the book, not in Doric 🙂 as it is well worth reading. You can click on it to make it bigger and easier to read.