These are a few photos from the Edina Europa poetry walks, which took place during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last month. They were taken by Alison Lloyd; my thanks to her for letting me use them here.
In the Canongate Kirkyard, looking towards the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill and the Old Royal High School.
At the grave of Johann Friedrich Lampe (1703–1751), a composer and bassonist who came to Edinburgh in 1750 to play at the recently opened Canongate Playhouse. I read from Robert Fergusson’s poem, ‘On the Canongate Playhouse in Ruins’, written after the theatre closed in 1769, and which includes the lines evoking the sounds of the playhouse:
Here shepherds, lolling in their woven bowers,
In dull recitativo often sung
Their loves, accompanied with clangour strong
From horns, from trumpets, clarinets, bassoons;
From violinos sharp, or droning bass,
Or the brisk tinkling of a harpsichord.
Reading from Burns, with the Burns Monument emerging from the trees in the background.
Reading another Burns poem at the grave of Adam Smith.
Taking advantage of having the poet on hand, I asked Angus Reid to read his ‘split sonnet’ about the Scottish parliament building, dedicated to Donald Dewar and beginning with the question:
And with what sign should the gathering place
Thanks to everyone who came on the walks – it was as ever a pleasure to share the poems with you, and the unfolding conversations.