A NEW poetry collection is celebrating all things Perthshire with works inspired by the area’s history, geography and culture.

Perthshire 101, edited by Andy Jackson, is comprised of a wide range of poems which promises to take readers on a “whistle-stop” tour of the region.

The poems are divided into five sections – North (Pitlochry and beyond), West and East (with the A9 serving as the dividing line) and South (of the A90).

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There’s also a section which focuses on the city of Perth itself, somewhere The National’s travel writer Robin McKelvie said had “plenty to smile about”.  

We’ve picked out some of our favourite poems from the new collection.

The Leap – Ross Mackay

One of Highland Perthshire’s most famous sites, the soldier’s leap, is situated in Killiecrankie, just outside of Pitlochry.

It marks the spot where, it is said, government soldier Donald MacBean avoided death by jumping more than 18 feet across the river after the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.

The National: The Leap focuses on the aftermath of the Battle of Killiecrankie which is re-enacted in the area once a yearThe Leap focuses on the aftermath of the Battle of Killiecrankie which is re-enacted in the area once a year

Mackay’s poem marks a conversation between two friends questioning whether they would be able to make the same jump.

A section of it reads:

Do you reckon you could do it?
Do you reckon you could do it?
Whit? Nah.
I reckon I could do it.
Do whit?
The leap.
The leap?
Aye, the leap?

Many have disputed whether or not MacBean actually made the jump, with one line in the poem saying it’s all just “pish and legend”.

Loch o the Lowes – George T Watt

Focusing on a beautiful loch near Dunkeld, this spot is home to Canada and greylag geese in autumn and winter.

During the spring and summer months, the ospreys also call the area home.

A section of the poem describes the birds in great detail. It reads:

I wus eein twa Great-crestit Grebes,
ain o the maist bewtiefu burds aroun,
wi their glisk o colours, their fantoosh headwear,
supersterns ablaze wi aa their glamorie

Dunkeld features frequently throughout the collection with poems also dedicated to the town’s cathedral as well as to Beatrix Potter.

The National: One of the poems focuses on Dunkeld's cathedral One of the poems focuses on Dunkeld's cathedral

The town is home to an interactive exhibition celebrating the life of the beloved children’s author.

The Birks of Aberfeldy – Kenneth Steven

Focusing on a short, popular walk in Aberfeldy which was popularised by a Robert Burns song, this poem looks at both the beauty and the bad.

The poet takes issue with people who leave their rubbish behind during the early part of the walk and so says they venture further up.

It reads that the narrator doesn’t care “for the lower bit” where people leave “their plastic wrappers and their sandwich bags”.

Instead, they “want further up and further in” where “the river comes down full in a silver flute”.

Return to The Queen’s View - Heather Reid

One of the best spots to visit in Perthshire, Queen’s View, lies in the heart of the area and is home to a stunning viewpoint which looks out over Schiehallion.

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The poem is dedicated “to Euan” and is a particularly personal one as the narrator discusses it was where her father learned she was pregnant.

It reads:

Here’s Schiehallion
and here the stretched
amoeba of Loch Tummel,
today a muddled soup of
sky and birch.
On a good day you
can even see Glencoe

That’s just a snapshot of a collection which encompasses 28 poets in all. Others focus on historical events, and even some of the culinary flavours including a haggis packet of crisps.

One things for certain, it won’t be long before you head for a visit after reading these.