Document 339

Starn sign

Author(s): Christine De Luca

Copyright holder(s): Christine De Luca


Vidlin, Shetland 21.10.1914

Nor haeven nor aert is bön at paece da nicht.
War's runnicks barely cut, still lines on maps.
But life gengs on: a ting o lass is boarn.

Birth's bassel owre, da howdie maks fur hom
doon da toons o Neegirt, wi tengs o fire fur licht.
An i da firmament, a comet's flicht records
da moment, ootstrips a hairst mön is shö rides
da sky. Da haevens demsels blaze furt nativity
hap a blissin on a peerie ting whase first braeth
reincarnates da stoor o galaxies, obscures
reveals: links daeth wi life an love an po'er.

reference to excerpts from Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar', Act 2, Scene 2

aert: earth; is bön: has been; runnicks: byre drains (trenches); gengs: goes; a ting a lass: a little girl; bassel: struggle; owre: over; howdie: local (untrained) midwife; maks for: goes towards; toons: arable fields; wi: with; tengs o fire: burning peat held aloft in tongs; hairst: harvest; mön: moon; shö: she; demsels: themselves; furt: forth; hap: wrap; peerie ting: little one; stoor: dust; po'er: power.

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APA Style:

Starn sign. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Starn sign." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 2 March 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Starn sign," accessed 2 March 2024,

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


Information about Document 339

Starn sign


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 1997
Word count 189
General description from collection of poems

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Shetland Library
Publication year 2002
Place of publication Shetland
ISBN/ISSN 0-904562-70-0
Edition 1st
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Plain Song

Text type



Author details

Author id 120
Forenames Christine
Surname De Luca
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Head of Assessment, Research and Development
Place of birth Bressay
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area Edb
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Headmaster
Father's place of birth Vidlin
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth Cunningsburgh
Mother's region of birth Shetland
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work, read Scots literature