The keen eyed burghers of Dumfries may have noticed a lot of activity around the Stove this past week as men in bunnets and leopard skin toting ladies bustled around in ever increasing spirals of agitation, armed only with Stanley knives, paint brushes and reams of tracing paper. It’s been all hands to the deck as the Stove juggles projectors, aliens, keys, broken windaes all to get ready in time for the Big Burns Supper
Yes, after months of deliberation; eureka moments, several shoogly nailed marriages, shortfalls in monies, no monies, no ideas, awful ideas and finally super, nay super dooper ideas and enough monies to cover our costs, the First Foot show is finally about to kick off.
First out of the traps is ‘Windows for Burns Night’, a project that transcends time and place and asks contemporary poets to emulate the hard Bard Burns and speak of their own time via the medium of melinex and a permanent marker.
The results of this project, created by venerable Stovies Hugh Bryden and Dave Borthwick, have been a great success with established poets grabbing permanent markers and making free with the odes. Hugh, working with the primary school pupils in and around Dumfries has produced some sublime poems which are displayed throughout Dumfries. The collected works can be seen in the windows of the Robert Burns House museum, the Globe Inn, the Coach & Horses and on mass in the windows of The Stove.
Poetry is often a respite from the hubbub of daily life, so it was nice to notice in Dumfries today, not hordes of Doonhamers clamouring to read the poems, but a few people pausing to take a few moments out of their shopping experience and the dreich weather, for a contemplative moment or two.
Here are some of the treats that await you all between now and the 31st of January*
and finally from one our younger poets, Joanne Hiddleston.
* The poems on the Stove windows will be taken down on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for the First Foot projections.