Christine De Luca, who writes in both English and Shetlandic, is a native Shetlander who has lived in Edinburgh since student days. She enjoys her dual identity and was recently appointed Edinburgh’s Makar or poet laureate (until 2017).
Despite a full-time working life in education she has produced over a dozen books, mainly poetry, but also a novel and some children’s stories. Her latest collection is Dat Trickster Sun (Mariscat 2014). She is active in translation and has taken part in literary festivals in many countries. Her poetry has often won awards in her native Shetland and a French bilingual Selected, Mondes Parallèles (éditions fédérop, 2007), won the Prix du Livre insulaire 2007 pour Poésie. Her poems have been selected three times for the Best Scottish Poems of the Year (2006, 2010 and 2013).
She also enjoys collaborating with visuals artists and musicians. Besides being a long-standing member and former Chair of Shore Poets, she is also a committee member of the Poetry Association of Scotland. Hansel Cooperative Press (supporting the arts in Orkney and Shetland) is also dear to her heart.
I could blame da wye da sea is smoothed
da steyns; da sylk o touch, da waelin, laevin;
an will da haert be dere whin I come back?
Or I could blame da saandiloo. He wis clear
whit wye ta geng: dis wye noo, nae luikin
owre your shooder. Tide dusna wait;
see da wye da swill o joy is drained.
Dance daday. Damoarn you slip
Or I could blame da hush at fills you
til you’re lik ta burst wi aa da wirds
at could be said but you hadd back.
Hit’s whit happens whan you step
in time, but sense a fault-line vimmerin
trowe you: dis side or dat?
Only da sea can greet an sing at da sam time:
shade an licht; cobalt, ultramarine an dan
da lönabrak – a tize, a frush o whicht.
saandiloo: ringed plover
lönabrak: surge of sea breaking on shore
frush: foamy splutter