Photo by Cole Farlow on Unsplash

Dorothy Lawrenson: Bladnoch is near to Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway. My partner and I spent a couple of days camping there, in a tent that turned out not to be waterproof! Scots has an abundance of words for wet weather and wet places, so I enjoyed collecting some of them together in this poem.

Carlos Llaza: Camping in Scotland is for the brave and adventurous. There seems to be an intriguing counterpoint between the friendliness of Scottish people and the alleged hostility of the country’s weather. Dorothy’s ‘Bladnoch’ is a perfect example of this. The speaker, albeit soaked, celebrates the ‘reemin’ water, recognising the fertility of its overabundance.

Scroll down to see a video of poet and translator reading this poem, with English subtitles.

bi Dorothy Lawrenson

Ablow the brig 
we pit up oor tent
fornent the threit 

o the onding 
the misk o the haugh 
wauchie i the dayligaun 

an us waukrife 
drookit wi smirr 
tentie o watter 

abune an ablaw 
blatter an souch 
the girse reeshlin 

ilk syke and sheuch 
wi fleet watter
reamin ower.

traducido al español por Carlos Llaza

Debajo del puente 
armamos nuestra carpa 
contra la amenaza

el prado junto al río
pantanoso en el crepúsculo

y nosotros insomnes
empapados de niebla
atentos al agua

arriba y abajo
tormenta y suspiro
el pasto susurra

cada acequia y arroyo
con la corriente

translated into English by Dorothy Lawrenson

Under the bridge
we put up our tent
against the threat

of the downpour
the grassland by the river
boggy in the twilight

and us sleepless 
soaked with mist
heedful of water

above and below
storm and sigh
the grass rustling

each ditch and stream
with running water

One comment

  1. Tremendous in all three languages. I can’t decide whether ‘twilight’, ‘crepusculo’ or ‘dayligaun’ is the most evocative word. However, I don’t feel that any other word has quite the power of ‘onding’!

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