Stuart A. Paterson

En barko senpilota in my hands,
I scan whole lines, each part a whole to taste
enticingly. My heart can’t understand
this vastness which surrounds it, pounds encased
in narrow Scottishness; there are no lands
for your heart, just the whole world. Once that’s faced,
your language needs no country; you relate
through frontiers, shores and skies a spoken state.

The French I know, Italian, Gaelic, just.
I recognise odd sayings from the East.
I think in Scots, speak ‘English’ if I must,
yearn after tongues of ancient Rome and Greece.
But you, Bill Auld, blow off that wretched rust
which coats the muted tongue, the most and least
of languages, like atoms, merging to
cosmologize all words of worlds in you.

Rimleteroj you once wrote with a friend
nearly forty years ago; the narrow minds
think English where this craft begins and ends,
or French, or Spanish. True poetic lines,
as we know, rise above all tides and trends
set by the criticasters and their kind.
Rimleteroj, Epistles stay around
to speak for us when they’re long underground.

But borders level; language is the real
embodiment of peoples. It’s absurd
to think that geography gives the appeal
of nationhood. The line, the written word
determines patriots, puts spoken steel
into the spoken voice. When that’s occurred
there’s bonding borders can’t hope to replace
in sectioning our orphaned infant race.


SOURCE: Paterson, Stuart A. “From A Spoken State: An Epistle to Bill Auld,” La Brita Esperantisto, 89-a jaro, n-ro 913, Majo-Junio 1993, p. 112.

Interviews with William Auld: Broadcasts on Radio Scotland (1993)

William Auld Memorial Page / En Memoro

Esperanto Study Guide / Esperanto-Gvidilo

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Uploaded 21 September 2009

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