Written by Stewart Conn

BBC Radio 4  Sunday 10th January  at 1630, & Saturday 16thJanuary at 23.30

A winter journey through Scotland’s capital city by Stewart Conn. The poetry is introduced and read by Stuart with the  acclaimed Scots actors Gordon Kennedy and Siobhan Redmond. Music is  arranged and played by Aly Macrae and the programme is directed by Marilyn Imrie.

Stewart Conn is one of Scotland’s most highly-regarded poets. He lives in Edinburgh and was from 2002 to 2005 the city’s inaugural Makar: the Scots name for a poet or bard. His Bloodaxe collections include The Breakfast Room (2011 SMIT Scottish Poetry Book of the Year) and a new & selected volume, The Touch of Time, while the new poems in this programme will appear in Against the Light, due from Mariscat Press in February.

A fragment from Under The ice by Stewart Conn, inspired by Raeburn’s portrait  which hangs in the National Gallery in Edinburgh.

…Was Raeburn’s skating parson
a man of God, poised
impeccably on the brink;
or his bland stare
no more than a decorous front?
If I could keep my cool
like that.  Gazing straight ahead,
not at my feet.  Giving
no sign of knowing
how deep the water, how thin the ice.