George Mackay Brown   

The ethos and outlook of the islanders have changed greatly 
since I was a child. People are more prosperous, but the 
community spirit has everywhere slackened, and the
language becomes increasingly impoverished. But sea 
and islands and hills are still there, and I am thankful 
I saw these everlasting things with a child’s eye, 
and the vivd people who lived among them, and their 
ancient benign rituals.

My poetry is a memory and a celebration of such things.

      Rackwick Bay: Hoy

George Mackay Brown 1993

Let no voice idly whisper here. 
Between those strong red cliffs, 
under that great mild sky 
lies Orkney’s last enchantment,  
the hidden valley of light.
Sweetness from the clouds pouring, 
songs from the surging sea. 
Fenceless fields, fishermen with ploughs 
and old heroes, endlessly sleeping 
in Rackwick’s compassionate hills.
 George Mackay Brown 1950

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