Document 1402

The sound of hammers

Author(s): James Hiddo Moncrieff

Copyright holder(s): James Hiddo Moncrieff


The sound of hammers
Echo from a wooden hull
And the axe-like strokes
Of the shipwright's tool
Ring like a muted bell
Dancing a backstep
On the new-laid keel
Ahead of the swinging arc
And the follow through.

The sunlight glancing
Through the slatted wooden pier
Cuts the rippling shadow
On the sea beneath
As a cauldron filled with drift nets
Gently stews, and steams
The pungent smell
Of oak-bark in the air
And the smithy door is open - wide.

The window with its twisted frame
And drunken bricks of glass
Refracting light,
Distorting shape
In the haze from the forge inside.
And forearm bare and sinew taut
Beat the anvil drum
As the shower of sparks
From the grinding wheel
Dance along the ground.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

The sound of hammers. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"The sound of hammers." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "The sound of hammers," accessed 25 July 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1402

The sound of hammers


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2004
Word count 130

Text medium

Magazine (e-zine)

Text publication details

Publication year 2004
Place of publication Shetland
Part of larger text
Contained in The New Shetlander
Editor Laureen Johnson and Brian Smith
Page numbers 16

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 972
Forenames James Hiddo
Surname Moncrieff
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment College
Age left school 19
Upbringing/religious beliefs Working class/Socialist
Occupation Retired
Place of birth Lerwick
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bigton
Region of residence Shetland
Residence CSD dialect area Sh
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Telegraphist
Father's place of birth Lerwick
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Loppersum
Mother's region of birth Groningen
Mother's country of birth Holland


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