A tribute to Sandy Hutchison, award-winning poet

A poem from our Community Correspondent Derek Read

This poem was written after I attended the funeral of Alexander (Sandy) Hutchison, the award-winning Scottish poet and translator who died in November 2015 after a short illness.

I knew him well through the poetry scene, as the partner of a member of my Quaker meetings and a kind and generous man. He was a consumate poet, a craftsman who took time with his work but managed to convey an ease and fluidity in his verse. He was generous with his time and expertise with aspiring poets, wishing to further their knowledge and experience.

There will be a special evening as part of Aye Write on March 18 in the Mitchell Theatre.

A son of Buckie who worked in Canada and the USA before settling in Glasgow, he was simply one of the leading poets of his generation. I was glad to know him.


Sandy’s Funeral

A large gathering- 400 or more

conveyed in the Clan chief’s carabanc- the Peace wagon

I used her zimmer as a battering ram

to secure a seat

the tribute played

the hymn sung, to a pilgrim

poem prayer prayed by the son

his own words enmeshed

in the body of the work

and duly annotated- that was fitting

I will revisit, the music of his voice

the wonderful sadness

the rhythm of his laughter-

it is well recorded.

At the purvey drams raised by all

“to Sandy” – poets did what poets do

drowned sorrows in anecdotes… jokes-

memories- the stuff of new verse

the chaos of it all

Derek Read

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