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Ceitidh Campbell

Ceitidh Campbell is a bilingual poet with connections to Raasay, Lochalsh, Inverness and Penicuik. She started writing songs and poems whilst at the School of Scottish Studies. In 2018 she won the Gold Medal for solo singing at the Royal National Mòd and performs both traditional songs and her own compositions. She was the Scottish Poetry Library’s first Gaelic poetry ambassador. She produces original poetry in Gaelic with English-language glosses.

Clobhsa Mhargaidh an Fheòla / Fleshmarket Close

Ceitidh Campbell

’S e a’ chiad shealladh a tha gad fhàilteachadh,
gad phurradh eadar mòrachd Scott
gu saoghal cruas Rankin –
am baile mòr ag iarraidh a punnd feòla.
Ceum do chaiseige currach,
Taigh leth-an-rathaid air a ceàrr-ainmeachadh
air mheudachadh le brògan nach tig dhut
is lìth shliseigean a mhaireas bho dhà uair na maidne.
Stangan tanalach de fual-leann saor
bho gach puthailt dhallanach,
fallas a’ cothlamadh le fuil nan linntean
a’ sìor-shilteachd sìos gu claon.
Gàire a’ taomadh à Deòrdaidh diongach
a’ cur fanaid nuallaich air d’ uchdaich,
le anail cho trom ris na th’ aig luchd gun sgairt,
’s tu cinnteach à droch-threòir do chàis.

(English Translation)
Fleshmarket close

The first sight that welcomes you,
thrusts you from Scott’s grandeur
straight to Rankin’s gritty world,
the city demanding its’ pound of flesh.
The uneven camber of your step on the treads
and the misnomer of the Halfway House
compounded by inappropriate shoes
and lingering 2am chip grease.
Stagnant pools of piss-cheap beer
from every inebriated recess.
Sweat merges with the blood of the past
dripping continuously down the incline.
Laughter pouring from a jingling Geordie
loudly mocks your ascent,
your breath, heavier than others’ palpitations,
knows you shouldn’t have taken this path.

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