Liz Lochhead

Liz Lochhead Poems

Trouble is not my middle name.
It is not what I am.
I was not born for this.
Trouble is not a place

be garlanded;
the poet's head
should be innocent of the leaves of the sweet bay tree,
twisted. All honour goes to poetry.

Down on her hands and knees
at ten at night on Hogmanay,
my mother still giving it elbowgrease
jiffywaxing the vinolay. (This is too

weather evocative as scent
the romance of dark stormclouds
in big skies over the low wide river
of long shadows and longer shafts of light

She is getting good and ready to renounce
his sweet flesh.
Not just for lent. (For

I am talking in our lingua franca.
Tell me, do you drive on the left or right?
Is your football team the Botswana Zebras
Or Indomitable Lions of Cameroon?

‘Tis the year's midnight, and it is the day's - from John Donne's
'A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day, being the Shortest Day'.

At midday on the year's midnight

The moment she died, my mother's dance dresses
turned from the colours they really were
to the colours I imagine them to be.

Friendship is a real boat,
Clydebuilt like the best of them,
pride and strength in every rivet and spot weld.
A vessel to last lifetimes, to carry a bond


for Robyn Marsack

Go take a book down from the shelf and open it.
Listen, this isn't ‘book' but box,
box full of sound you lift the lid on, opening.

The river in January is fast and high.
You and I
are off to the Barrows.
Gathering police-horses twitch and fret
at the Tron end of London Road and Gallowgate.

is peopled with many surfaces.
Ormolu and gilt, slipper satin,
lush velvet couches,
cushions so stiff you can't sink in.

Molly Pin Li McLaren,
come home and look
at the pictures in your brand-new book -
a tree, a bird, a fish, a bell,

The present author being, from her mother's milk,
a lover of the poetic effusions of Mr Robert Burns and
all creatures therein (whether mouse, louse, yowe, dug
or grey mare Meg) was nonetheless appalled to find,

"If freedom an whisky gang thegither": Robert Burns

When we sit wined and finely dined,
Dressed up in oor best, braw and fancy,

There is no need they say
but the needles still move
their rhythms in the working of your hands
as easily
as if your hands

Liz Lochhead Biography

Liz Lochhead (born 26 December 1947) is a Scottish poet, playwright, translator and broadcaster. Between 2011 and 2016 she was the Makar, or National Poet of Scotland. Elizabeth Anne Lochhead was born in a “little ex-mining village just outside Motherwell”, Lanarkshire. Her mother and father had both served in the army during the Second World War, and later, her father was a local government clerk. In 1952 the family moved into a new council house in the mining village of Newarthill, where her sister was born in 1957. Though she was encouraged by her teachers to study English, Lochhead was determined to go to Glasgow School of Art where she studied between 1965 and 1970. After graduation Lochhead taught art at High Schools in Glasgow and Bristol, a career at which she says she was "terrible)

The Best Poem Of Liz Lochhead

Trouble is not my middle name

Trouble is not my middle name.
It is not what I am.
I was not born for this.
Trouble is not a place
though I am in it deeper than the deepest wood
and I'd get out of it (who wouldn't?) if I could.

Hope is what I do not have in hell -
not without good help, now. Could you
listen, listen hard and well
to what I cannot say except by what I do?

And when you say I do it for badness
this much is true:
I do it for badness done to me before
any badness that I do to you.

Hard to unfankle this.
But you can help me. Loosen
all these knots and really listen.
I cannot plainly tell you this, but, if you care,
then — beyond all harm and hurt -
real hope is there.

Liz Lochhead Comments

Geena Davs 16 October 2020

Liz lockhead is one of the most interesting poet

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