Tag Archives: beat

Edinburgh Scene, 1967 by Alan Jackson ( beat poet )

Edinburgh Scene

we used to be typists
but the hell wi that
now we live with these boys
in a two room flat
we’ve never washed for ages
we sleep on bits of sack
we’ve baith lost wir panties
and we dinnae want them back

the boys are a’ big beardies
they think we’re awfy sweet
we never know which one we’re with
that’s what it means to be beat
by Alan Jackson, Edinburgh Beat Poet 1967


A brilliant piece of plain speaking about the real culture of 1960’s Edinburgh,
humorous and erotic, bound to freak the squares.
Edinburgh Scene functions as apparent documentary and
of course as with all things beat also on a mystical level.
The narrator is the poet inner voices  – the lassies are his soulful twins,
anima and muse in playful harmony.
The fount of creativity and the living beat pulsing rhythm

You can buy Alan Jackson’s latest work here ( or download free poetry e-books )
I wax further lyrical pon this gem of Scottish dialect here

Edinburgh Scene by Alan Jackson 1967

“Edinburgh Scene” by Alan Jackson 1967. Poetry Library Edinburgh link Alan Jackson

This is without doubt the finest poem of a time and of a place ever to have been written or read.

Jackson Joyfully Playfully in many layers shows that freedom is possible and unrepentant.

And one of the few to capture the Edinburgh dialect, the spirit of the love love love the new love poetrytime and the duality of the soul and muse – the inner mystical journey as it manifests projected on the gnarl of realism.

It documents precisely the journey from a good secretarial job to the freedom to love.

The dichotomous relation between societal dissaproval in the eyes of the staid, imprisoned and unhip past and the freedom from all possession – to love unhindered – and so create.

One might consider the two female protagonists as the anima of Jackson’s mythical poet hero.

The men are ornamental cyphers for the heroinic transformative journey of the women – iron Jane to borrow from the mythopoetic.

Everything is duality in the poem, man woman, 2 rooms, 2 girls, a two room flat.

In the act of sharing, titalatingly suggested as transgressive permissivity, the narrator is “we” so the two become one in the readin’.

The poem concludes “that’s what it means to be beat” and so it is the poets journey – the beat poet – Jackson himself is the narrator of this final line I think – the birds are the poet’s soul and muse.

Did Jackson mean all this when writing – it disnae matter, it is all there for the finding.

I hope to yet aquire permission to post the poem in full

it can be found in :
“Love, love, love: The new love poetry” – an Anthology by Roche, Pete, Transworld 1967 ISBN 0552077896

— other work —

Some Beat – Hitch Haikus
nae hat
and the cauld rain fallin

dearie me

His latest poetry anthologies are available as free ebooks from lulu “A Great Beauty” by Alan Jackson, ” and POD paperbacks “Walking Through Apocalypse” by Alan Jackson


And his work can be enjoyed daily at the Scottish Parliament where it is carved in stone.What a lovely moon Alan Jackson


See Me wan time I wis a Fox – Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ian Hamilton Finlay Scottish Gardener and Poetsee me
wan time
ah wis a fox
ah wis ah sleekit! ah
gaed slinkin
an snappin
the blokes
aa sayed ah wis a GREAT fox
aw nae kiddin
ah wis pretty good
had a whole damn wood
in them days
Ian Hamilton Finlay (From Glasgow Beasts an a Burd)

Manys a pub where tae wheedle a drink you’ll get a tale – here in Glasgow Patois is the classic trope of past glory as a chat up line – the hen is a lassie, the wiley old foxes prey.