By Kirkpatric Dobie
Kirkpatric Dobie, a retired grain merchant, was born in Dumfries in 1980 and, one year excepted, has lived there all his life. He left school at fifteen to become a bank apprentice and left eight years later to join the family business.
He has written:
I have been miller, merchant and Rotarian,
have listened to the late night stocks report,
have occupied my self with things agrarian,
shop-keeper, bank accountant, and in short,
carried my fears
in many spheres
Some twenty-five years ago he joined a literary group promoted by Glasgow University Adult Education Department which, under the guidance of Ann Karkalas and other tutors, produced much good work. Over the years, with the aid of the Scottish Arts Council, he has published and sold locally several pamphlet collections, but he has never sent his poems to literary magazines or newspapers.
Kirkpatrick Dobie is a poet who deserves the much wider audience that this volume of Selected Poems should provide. His poetry ranges from the vividly colloquial to the lyrically graceful. He is unafraid of confronting the big, old themes head on, and he can carry through an argument in verse with a certain sinewy toughness.
‘. . . a true but unrecognised talent . . . These poems, surely, will give pleasure to many people who turn wearily away from the pretension, the wilful obscurity, the “experimental” in so much contemporary writing.’
Tall poppies grow beside the stile,
some partly hidden by the hedge,
and some that brush the upper rail
are rooted at the very edge.
In June of every year they come
red-orange-tipped and irised-brown.
They sway towards you as you pass
and touch your hand as you step down.
Great gangling girls, they never learn
how much of men is purely brute,
so every year they come again
and some are trampled underfoot.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: scraperboard drawing of bridges over the River Nith, Dumfries, by Judith Dobie.
Publication: 1992 (64 pages laminated paperback)