Highlights of Edinburgh for Read Your Own Work on October 5th

Jen wrote about her mother’s gingerbread, and a boy of seven from Edinburgh – remembering her first (cupboard-)lover. The Dream, Ross’s story, was of a salesman who went to Edinburgh and stayed overnight with a woman. Next day his psychic wife recalled a dream of being in a hotel with him and a woman! Ross left us hanging – not sure how to interpret the dream.

Lucy wrote about a visit to her old student-haunts in Edinburgh; of meeting her grandson and girlfriend; and of a portrait of Ian Rankin. Bill described Edinburgh as ‘austere, sublime’ in his poem Auld Reekie; Sheila read her article about Oscar Marzaroli’s photograph of Castlemilk Lads in National Portrait Gallery, while Jim had painted a self-portrait, and read his poem asking how we see ourselves. In the aftermath of a stroke, he commented, “Without the brain the body is a butcher’s shop.”

Morag wrote about a portrait of a native American by David Morrison, picking out his strong features and the challenge he poses. Angus’s poem said of the death of a Delta Blues man at 28, that it “could make cold angels weep.”

Evie’s article described Edinburgh’s Raeburn painting of the Rev Robert Walker skating, “a pose caught as if for an audience”, and reported that despite considerable dispute over the attribution, it remains popular. And still on Raeburn, Rose was attracted by his Sir Walter Scott in the National Portrait Gallery; and, in her poem, swore his image on a £20 note winked at her. Sticking with the National Portrait Gallery, Jack was struck by a likeness of Mary Queen of Scots. From one side it looks like her face, from the other like a skull and from the middle like a mixture.

Ian wrote a very funny Scots poem about a crow and a sparrow competing for cheese, and finally Alison’s poem was inspired by Sir James Guthrie’s A Hind’s Daughter in the National Gallery of Scotland. It became the hind’s (a farmworker) criticism of both the daughter and artists who came out from the city to paint.

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