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Selkirk FC provides poetry in motion

Thomas Clark pens a poem Credit: ITV Border

The new poet in residence at Selkirk Football Club has already penned two poems about being a fan of the Lowland Football League club.

Thomas Clark says there is much more 'romanticism and poetry' in the smaller clubs, and they are a great inspiration for his writing.

Here are two of his poems:

Take Shelter

It’s Scottish Cup day in Selkirk

An aw things are richt;

The redness on the leaves like yon,

The shinin on the watter like yon.

Och, it is a perfect day,

A joke for the guyin o the cynic an the pessimist

Wha woke up sure it would be comin doon;

An no a clood in the sky, nor a drap on the breeze,

Hints at the troubles aheid.

– Thomas Clark

The Timin o the Run

Leavin the pub at hauf past two is plenty,

Take in the fine delights

O the river’s stroll tae Philiphaugh. How quiet it is. How the leaf-lined streets

Barely betray a passer-by.

Even when the rugby boys are at hame,

An their grund is dotted wi blue an red,

Whit guilty pleasure! Walkin on by their gate,

Like passin a rival kirk en route tae mass.

An so we dawdle, in oor watch-checkin way,

Pickin up pace as three comes near,

Turnin the corner at the cricket club

An steppin intae Yarrow Park;

An as the ref blaws his whistle

An the captain claps his hauns,

It’s as if the Souters

Have been stood there aw day,

Waitin for you tae show up.

– Thomas Clark

Selkirk Football Club appoints poet

Thomas Clark pens a poem with inspiration from young players Credit: ITV Border

Selkirk Football Club has become the first in Scotland to combine the beautiful game and the written word with its very own poet in residence.

Award-winning poet Thomas Clark, who lives in Hawick, has become the club's latest signing.

He will write poetry for the club's programme and website, and he hopes his words will inspire the team to do well in the Scottish Cup.

He said:


What I am looking to do is reflect the Borders pride and tradition in my poetry, and specifically the pride and tradition of Selkirk FC. The good times and bad times, because that's a big part of football. Anyone can support Real Madrid when they are winning Champions League after Champions League but for me the real poetry and romance in poetry is here, not at the big clubs.

– Thomas Clark, Selkirk FC poet in residence
Selkirk FC's poet in residence Thomas Clark Credit: ITV Border

Selkirk FC chairman Ross Anderson says he hopes the new signing will encourage more people to watch football.

Football is a diverse sport with a diverse audience and we thought this was a great idea. We hope it will encourage more people from all walks of life to watch football because there is more than just the sport on the pitch. There is loads of opportunities on and off it.

– Ross Anderson, Selkirk FC Chairman

Meet the winners of the Young Poet Competition

The winners of the Wordsworth Young Poets Competition with Christopher Wordsworth Credit: ITV Border

The winners of the Wordsworth Young Poet Competition were announced yesterday at a ceremony to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of the revised version of Wordsworth's "Daffodils".

Youngsters across Cumbria were asked to contribute their own poems to be judged by a panel made up of members of William Wordsworth's family.

13-year-old Jessica Dickinson, from Keswick School, took first place with the following entry:

I wandered into my childhood,

Reminiscing one autumn day…

My creased eyes saw with joy

Each defining moment that shaped my mind, my life,

What treasures did I discover anew?

Fireworks shining in my mum’s eyes,

A swing to carry me to the top of the world,

A witch’s hat; a twinkling pumpkin greeting us and our tricks,

Santa, vibrant red, and a kind smile,

Summer days to run free and wild,

Oh no; that clown, a puppet, evil smile

Put him AWAY

A perfumed hug, everything’s OK

Colouring shapes on rainy days

My foot traces patterns on a sandy beach,

Laughing with friends until I cry,

And now but now, all my days are Autumn,

Winter draws close

Gnarled knotty hands, gnarled knotty trees,

Time to hibernate?

But my memories, like a toasty heart-warming fire keeping me aglow

Childhood memories

The jigsaw of me.

Credit: ITV Border

Judges described her words as "taking the reader into herself, where the poet lives".

You can watch a collection of readings by some of the runners up in the competition below:

In order of appearance:

  • 10-year-old Amelie Tyson from Ambleside Church of England Primary School
  • 10-year-old Lydia Huby from Casterton, Sedbergh Preparatory School
  • 10-year-old Matthew Gorton, from Bewcastle Primary School

Dove Cottage hosts National Poetry Day

It is national poetry day and a special celebration is taking place later at Dove Cottage in Grasmere.

The theme this year is "Water, Water, Wverywhere" in honour of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a great friend of Lake District poet William Wordsworth.

Dove Cottage is hosting National Poetry Day Credit: Wordsworth Trust

A series of readings will be taking place throughout the day and into the evening.


Full Report: Scottish poet heads to the hills

Those of us who fancy heading somewhere beautiful and remote for a few weeks will probably be fairly envious of Scottish poet Rab Wilson.

He is the first ever James Hogg Creative Resident and is spending the next few weeks living and writing like the famous writer, who was known as the Ettrick Shepherd.

It is not just about writing though, it is about developing parts of the Borders where the population is declining fast.

Less than 1000 people live in the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys and the area needs help, as Hannah McNulty has been finding out.

Watch her full report below.

Scottish poet heads to the hills in the footsteps of James Hogg

Scottish poet Rab Wilson is heading out to the remote Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys to become the first ever James Hogg Creative Resident, living and writing like the famous poet himself.

James Hogg was known as the Ettrick Shepherd and lived and worked out in the remote Borders.

The project is not just about poetry though as it is part of a bigger drive to encourage visitors and residents alike to visit the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys - which have less than 1000 people in total living there.

With the population declining, the area is in need of some help - which it hopes can be provided by making people more aware of the natural beauty of the remote countryside in the valleys.

Other schemes that are hoping to help this growth are:

  • Plans for hydro electric power in the area
  • Improve road link from Potburn to the A708
  • Building routes for St Mary's Loch Circular Walk
  • Cycle routes a Bowhill Off Road and Minchmoor to Yarrowford
  • Better signage for tourist attractions

Poet picked to spend six weeks as The Ettrick Shepherd

A Scottish poet going to spend six weeks living the life of the man known as the Ettrick Shepherd. Rab Wilson, 52, has been chosen as the first James Hogg Writer in Residence. Hogg was born on a farm in 1770 and wrote some of his most famous work in the Borders.

From August, he'll live in a cottage in the remote Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders to get inspiration for his writing from local writers. The appointment is being funded by the Ettrick and Yarrow Development Project who want to breathe new life into the area and promote the work of Hogg.

"I want to write a number of poems based on this experience. I am not sure yet what that will be. It's a blank canvas. I am available to do whatever people want me to do. A lot of it will be out on the mountain bike and hopefully walking these hills and visiting Tushielaw and all these great sounding places and it would be good to meet local characters.

– Rab Wilson, James Hogg Writer in Residence

James Hogg is best known for The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

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