Document 732

Homage til Carl Nielsen

Author(s): Tom Hubbard

Copyright holder(s): Tom Hubbard


Ti reenge aa owre the globe in bairnlie wunner
At spreid o oceans, continents an deserts;
Ti mairvel at the awesome bens, the reek an steir o
Buirdlie cities;
Ti tak aa this, an mair,

An yit ti keek sidelins,
Lattin the erd turn on an turn awaa
Fae my inmaist thochts - it's then I mak repone
Straucht ti the beckonin o the merest inch,
A raggit scrap, a crum
Lang drapt fae Europe's bouk intil the sea,
Syne tuckt inby this corner o aa corners -
Ti whilk comes me, e'en smaaer nor itsel.
Still bairnlie aboot it,
Kittled up fir adventure,
But quaitlik tae, as gin my ferlie quest
Wis airtit ti a grun whaur ye micht growe
Ti flooer warld-wide.

The great man's wark
Latent in the first skirl o the bab;
Ilk ootcome o a phrase,
Subtle, but somehou naitral,
As gin it cuidna tak anither gate:
Aa this wis formin in a wee loun's pliskies.
Whan he an his muckler pals
Cam traikin throu the loan
Fae rammies wi the gangs o neibourin clachans,
His faither's dander wis fairlie up, nae doot,
Yit bluidie neb or skelpit bum's a stert -
Fir he'd hae wechtier warsles ti record.
Ay, this wis the foond o it aa;
Aiblins at hairst-time a ballant heard i the park,
Gut-scrapers at the ingle-cheek,
A blin maisician
Airnin gey few bawbees in a bevvie-hous -
Sae Carl wad lear o maitters in this life
Cryin ti be confrontit:
The speerit o his fowk
Raxin ootby, an throu him, faurer yit,
'Yont Marx's 'idiocie' o the kailyaird;
Nae kailyaird thon, but apen ti the cheenge
O ilka tid an saison.

The sangs o innocence an experience:
The twa can soond in bairnheid - an thereƫfter;
The 'yince upon a time' is fir aa time,
As kent thon skinnie Hans fae up the road.
A glaikit laird, vauntin his cheatrie claes -
An ugsome burd o the dub -
Images that baith plaise an stertle
In a blink:
The instant whilk lichts up the hale o a life
Wi an unexpeckit turn fae plus ti minus
Or minus ti plus. It's this that sairs us weill,
Gin that we're lawdie or deuklin,
High heidyin or swan.

Sic wis the pad I tuik throu thon wuid
Whan I socht the monument:
I didna ken whaur it wad lead me nixt ...
The zig-zag o a snake,
Pynt an coonterpynt:
First, choleric; then, phlegmatic;
Melancholic succeedit bi sanguine;
Saul, Goliath - but Dauvit;
Jeronimus, solemn, fou-breekit,
Wi a lauch an a daunce deflatit;
An wi aa its twynin an trauchlin agin its faes,
Wad thon theme fae the clarinet win throu at the end?

Cleirin my wey mang fankle o the trees,
I fund the brek o the mirk as the leaves pairtit,
Wi the pedestal afore me in a neuk
Whaur I cuid lay by;

Then aa the simmer skinkled on the bronze
o a peerie chiel wi his whussle, an his een
Kest up fou birkie:
- Fir there wis naethin else athort the universe
That wis worth daein!

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Homage til Carl Nielsen. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 4 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Homage til Carl Nielsen." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 4 March 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Homage til Carl Nielsen," accessed 4 March 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 732

Homage til Carl Nielsen


Text audience

General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Word count 532

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Aberdeen University Press
Publication year 1988
Place of publication Aberdeen
ISBN/ISSN 0-08-036417-9
Edition 1st
Part of larger text
Contained in Four Fife Poets
Page numbers 95-97

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 232
Forenames Tom
Surname Hubbard
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs N/A
Occupation Academic, librarian and writer
Place of birth Kirkcaldy
Region of birth Fife
Birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Kirkcaldy
Region of residence Fife
Residence CSD dialect area Fif
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Caterer
Father's place of birth Dysart
Father's region of birth Fife
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Caterer
Mother's place of birth Dysart
Mother's region of birth Fife
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Everyday
Italian Yes Yes Yes Yes Work, holiday, fluency fluctuating
Polish No No No No Smattering. Work, holiday
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Everyday. Scots spoken in relaxed circumstances