Once again our first female Poet Laureate has written a relevant and profound poem about a national issue . Her September 2014 poem is about the aftermath of the Scottish referendum. In a seemingly simple poem she points out that both national emblems, the rose and the thistle, can ‘draw blood’ but in a poem rich in allusion and resonances, she hopes that reconciliation is possible with the people of that ‘brave, bold, brilliant land ‘.
As a long time fan of her work, I was lucky enough to meet Carol Ann at the Ledbury Poetry Festival and had a long chat with her and was struck by her fierce, uncompromising intelligence, but also her warmth and humour. This new poem demonstrates once again her ability to bring all these qualities into her poems.