Oor Neu Colossus

Translated into Scots by Anne Shivas

I became a citizen in 2013 having lived here for fourteen years, an accidental emigrant/immigrant, after marrying an American.  In 2017 my husband and I returned to America by sea after an extended stay in Scotland. We woke early to watch the ship’s dawn progress under the Verrazano Bridge towards New York. With the sun rising over Brooklyn and casting its light on Manhattan I was very moved by the Statue of Liberty as we passed, by the welcome it has symbolized and embodied in the country’s history. It sends a unique message of America’s core values.

Anne Shivas is a Scottish-American poet. Her book Whit Grace was published in 2017. Her poem “An Old Woman Cooking Eggs” was chosen as one the 20 best Scottish poems of 2017. She leads adult classes in Scottish Literature for Osher at Dartmouth College and a community poetry group.

Nae lik yon vauntie swankie kennspeckle Greek
Wi muckle shanks attower frae laun tae laun;
Here at oor sey-washen, yetts o mirk will staun
A michty quine wi a bleeze, wha’s licht
Is yon taigled fire-flaucht, an her ca’d
Mither o Ootlins. Frae her bale haun
A warle-wide bidding alowe; her douce een ettle
At yon lift-brig hythe wi twa touns forby.
“Auld launs, haud yer gree!” crys she
Frae wheesht mou. “Gie me yer trauchled, yer wersh,
Yer cooried currieboram yeukin tae win free,
Yon yowden hinneren o yer heezin strand.
Set is eens, yon herbriles, blatter-howd tae me,
I heyze my cruisie yont yon gowden yett!”