Poetry - Using Dialect To Create Scottish Flavour in Poetry

I want to start sharing some of the stories and poems that I've written as part of my creative writing degree course. I've got about 5 notebooks full of handwritten work now and about half a dozen polished pieces that I can feel confident about sharing. I've had pretty good marks so far and some good constructive criticism from my tutor, so after doing some work on these pieces, I'm going to publish them here on my blog, as well as on a couple of other sites, like Wattpad (where I have no followers and I don't even know if they accept poetry) or Litnet.

Poetry never comes easy to me and it was the part of my course that I was absolutely dreading. I always had this idea that poetry is often pretentious and doesn't resonate with me for that reason. If a poem tells a story I can enjoy it. I really like spoken word poet Rudy Francisco's poems, but me, writing poetry? I couldn't see it ever happening - until this year. I do have hopes of writing a pamphlet one day, but it's not high on the list of priorities. Right now, making money is more important.

Scottish poetry monochrome lacey dearie

Today I'm sharing a poem I wrote called Monochrome. It began life as a 16 line poem inspired by a black and white photograph of a peasant woman. I don't know much about the photograph or the peasant woman at all. I started making notes about the image and my imagination took over and turned her into a ghost I encountered while walking in the woods. I cut the poem to 8 lines, feeling that this was adequate to tell the story. I played around with idiolect in this poem, using the word "clatty" which is from my own Scottish dialect and means grimy or dirty.

If anyone has any constructive criticism, I'd be happy to hear it. I won't be changing this particular poem, but it would be handy to know where I can improve for future works.


Her meaty thumbs and clatty nails
Touch nothing, her lips only mime.
This fragile echo, ghost female 
A throwback rippling through time

Despite the thickness of her hips
And chunky arms and monstrous nose
She doesn't know she's delicate
She's silver, grey and monochrome.


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