William Soutar

| home | soutar | friends | links | contact |

William Soutar

A K Bell Library,
York Place,
t: +44 (0)1738 477062
e:Local Studies

The Soutar House,
27 Wilson Street,
t: +44 (0)1738 643687

| introduction | life | poetry | bibliography |

Willie Soutar

Perth Poet, 1898-1943

This website is dedicated to the life and works of Willie Soutar, the Perth poet who stands comparison with Scotland's best. The site was upgraded in December 2007 to coincide with the formal launch of the Soutar Walks around Perth, and the establishment of the Friends of William Soutar Society (FoWSS) as a registered charity, intent on promoting Soutar's work to a wider audience.

This section of the site provides a summary of Soutar's brief life, ranging through his schooldays, military service, university time, and culminating in his illness and confinement.

A small selection of his poems is provided, most with audio readings by the Soutar Fellows - previous Writers in Residence at the Soutar House in Perth. The local poems are also marked on the maps on the Walks pages. Clicking on a marker pin will show you a photograph of the location and you can link to the relevant poetry page and reading.

This section also contains a select bibliography of the works of Soutar, a list of books and articles on his poetry and life, plus audio and musical references.

By way of introduction, here is a sonnet in Scots written in 1943 that might have brought a gasp of envy from Wordsworth.

St John's Kirk

The Halted Moment

Wha hasna turn'd inby a sunny street
And fund alang its length nae folk were there;
And heard his step fa' steadily and clear
Nor wauken ocht but schedows at his feet.
Shuther to shuther in the reemlin heat
The houses seem'd to hearken and to stare;
But a' were doverin whaur they stude and were
Like wa's ayont the echo o' time's beat.
Wha hasna thocht whan atween stanes sae still,
That had been biggit up for busyness,
He has come wanderin into a place
Lost, and forgotten, and unchangeable;
And thocht the far-off traffic sounds to be
The weary waters o' mortality.

Site designed by Iain Mackintosh
Tested on IE9 and FF10 - please report any problems via the Contact page.
The assistance of the Scottish Library Information Council in the production of this site is gratefully acknowledged.