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Significant Scots
J K Annand

Bairn RhymesMercat Press has republished a collection of J K Annand’s Scots verse for children, which has been described by Paul H Scott as being ‘among the best writing for children in any language’. The book, in its attractive new paperback format, was first published in 1989 under the title A Wale o Rhymes.

J K Annand was a teacher and a life-long champion of the Scots language. Both these interests found a happy outlet in his children’s poetry. He associated the Scots language with his own youth and the language was a medium he could use naturally to return to a childhood perspective in writing the bairn rhymes. According to Alan Bold, ‘as a poet he was most successful when addressing young folk… these bairnsangs have charmed many Scottish children into appreciating Scots’.

Annand was born in Edinburgh in 1908. He was the author of several volumes of poetry, among them the three books of verse for children which are collected in Bairn Rhymes. He was a founder member of the Scots Language Society and editor of Lines Review and Lallans. Mercat Press were the publishers of his Selected Poems 1925-1990. He died in 1993.

The poems in Bairn Rhymes are grouped under different headings: For the Wee Anes, Games, Beasts, Birds, Folk, Special Days and Orra Ploys, and are accompanied by delightful line drawings by Dennis Carabine.

The distinguished Scots poet Robert Garioch has said: ‘Most children enjoy poetry, but it is not easy to write the poems that they like. J K Annand’s bairn rhymes have been thoroughly tried and tested and must have pleased their public, the most demanding in the world…’

Listen to a Real Audio version of one of his poems - AULD FARRANT

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