Fras 18 eds. William Hershaw and Walter Perrie, Fras Publications, Dunning, 2013, 40pp., £4.00

As I hae skreivit afore, Fras is ane o the best pamphlets aboot, (wi William Hershaw an Walter Perrie as editors an John Herdman as consultin editor, it's nae surprise). Ane o the things I admire is the consistent quality o the surprise mix ye affen get. For ensample, in this edition there's new poems by Donald Campbell, wha, as the editors richtly note, disna get the recognition that's his due; there's a poem by Burns, thrie poems by Joe Corrie, twa by Mario Relich. Add til this Campbell's owersettins o Rob Donn and Alexander MacDonald an his poems in response til pikters by Ned Holt an Walter Geikie, an ye hae as guid a walin as ye micht want. Here's a bittie o Donald's tae pruive it:

Our Scotland's wanting still the choice
of Government. Maun we rejoice
in thralldom as we stir the shit?
Thank God I feel some keelie in me yet!

The first stanza o 'Keelie Kyrielle', frae an unco makar.

Joe Corrie's 'The Image o God' is ane o his best-kent, wi thae memorable, sardonic, desperate lines: 'Me, made after the image o God  ? / But it's laughable, tae'. The ither twa here, 'The Pedlar' and 'In Hunter's Bar', also mind us o the man's rare talent, the latter tellin o a meetin atween twa men wha wooed the same lass. The laist twa lines gie ye a fell dunt: 'And for a month his words swam in ma brain  ?  / 'She's deid, of course, deid wi her seevinth wean'.

Raymond Vettese