|John Clark Milne|
Memsie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
|Known for||The Orra Loon|
John Clark Milne (1897-1962) was a Scottish poet who wrote in the Doric dialect of the Scots language. He was also a teacher and educationalist. Some of his poetry was written for children.
John Milne was born at Memsie, near Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire in 1897 to a farming family. He attended the University of Aberdeen where he excelled academically, then became a teacher. In later years he was Master of Method at Aberdeen College of Education. His collection of verses, The Orra Loon was published in 1946 and his collected Poems in 1963.
The northeastern poet and novelist Nan Shepherd helped prepare the latter edition of Milne's poetry, published after his death. In 2009 the Buchan Heritage Society launched a CD on which well-known local performers and artists had collaborated in recording samples of his work. The society hoped that through hearing Milne's unique poetry children would help preserve the Doric tongue, which many in the area have forgotten.
According to Cuthbert Graham, "The imaginative literature of Aberdeen for the past century has been dominated by a single theme–a single myth if you like in the deep psychological sense–a passion for the land... In poetry Charles Murray, John C. Milne and Flora Garry have illuminated the same obsessive concern." J.C. Milne's work was full of humorous irony, through which he could express his unique viewpoint while apparently reporting the speech of the characters he depicted. Milne had an extraordinary ability to exploit the potential for rhyming in the dialect. Rich in vocabulary, his poetry seemed simple and unaffected. A snatch of Milne's poetry, with the wonderful word "contermashious", meaning "contrary":
- O Lord look doon on Buchan
- An a' its fairmer chiels!
- For there's nae in a' Yer warld
- Mair contermashious deils!
- Aberdeen university review. Aberdeen University Press.. 1977. http://books.google.com/books?id=zXdYAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- Caie, Graham D.; Hough, Carole; Wotherspoon, Irené (2006). The Power of Words: Essays in Lexicography, Lexicology and Semantics : in Honour of Christian J. Kay. Rodopi. pp. 99–. ISBN 978-90-420-2121-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=RfxcbpXhCZoC&pg=PA99. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- "Doric - the dialect of North-East Scotland". School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews. http://www.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/~gmp/gmpDORIC.html. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- Henderson, John (1996). "Doric Dialects and Doric Poets of North-East Scotland". Electric Scotland. http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/doric.htm. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- MacGillivray, Alan (1997). Teaching Scottish Literature: Curriculum and Classroom Applications. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-0930-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=WDuYlv74iCcC&pg=PA37. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- McClure, J. Derrick (2000). Language, poetry, and nationhood: Scots as a poetic language from 1878 to the present. Tuckwell Press. ISBN 978-1-86232-071-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=OARaAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- Orsman, H. W. (1993). Of Pavlova, Poetry and Paradigms: Essays in Honour of Harry Orsman. Victoria University Press. ISBN 978-0-86473-247-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=hm-hXVgYBaEC&pg=PA180. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- Shepherd, Nan (2010-07-01). The Weatherhouse. Canongate Books. ISBN 978-1-84767-802-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=xC5YwBoP_pIC&pg=PR1. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- "Special concert launch for heritage society CD". Buchan Observer. 4 August 2009. http://www.buchanobserver.co.uk/news/local-headlines/special-concert-launch-for-heritage-society-cd-1-128373. Retrieved 2012-07-26.