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Fiction, Poetry
Publication Date
07 November 2013
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited

Scottish Cats

An Anthology of Scottish Cat Poems
by Hamish Whyte (ed.) - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

'[A] must for all cat-lovers . . . Beautifully designed and scampering along from Robert Henryson to Diana Hendry here’s a tumbling litter of truly enjoyable poems' – Ron Butlin, Scotsman

'If you admit to sharing this folly, to regarding your ball of hair, claw and tooth as the cat’s pyjamas, then you will enjoy Scottish Cats: an Anthology, edited by Hamish Whyte' – Times Literary Supplement

Cats have always had a special appeal to poets – they exhibit so many human attributes, not least that characteristic Scottish trait, thrawnness. According to legend, the Scots were the first northern people to keep cats (Fergus I of Scotland is said to have brought one from Portugal in the fourth century BC), and Scots have taken cats to their hearts ever since.

This anthology of over 60 poems explores the relationship between people and felines from Henryson’s 15th-century account of ‘Gib Hunter, our Jolie Cat’ , through 18th century Aesopian tales, 19th-century cat-and-mouse tussles to more modern depictions of this domestic yet mysterious animal by poets such as Alastair Reid, who explore the ambivalent side of ‘the tiger who eats from the hand’.

The anthology features the work of (among many others) J.K. Annand, George Bruce, Valerie Gillies, Kathleen Jamie, Maurice Lindsay, George Macbeth, Brian McCabe, Norman MacCaig, Edwin Morgan, Tom Pow, Iain Crichton Smith, Allan Ramsay. There are also a number of traditional poems and nursery rhymes and charming line illustrations by James Hutcheson.

Hamish Whyte was born in Renfrewshire and lived and worked in Glasgow for many years as a librarian. The author of a number of poetry collections, he has also edited poetry anthologies. He lives in Edinburgh