Aberdonians inspire new poem – Our Future Aberdeen

A new poem inspired by Aberdonians has been revealed by Aberdeen City Libraries today (Thursday 19 November) as part of their Book Week Scotland celebrations.

Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of books and reading that takes place across the country and is organised by the Scottish Book Trust – the national charity changing lives through reading and writing.

Book Week Scotland 2020 will take place from 16-22 November and is supported by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and Creative Scotland. This year’s theme is Future.

The poem titled ‘Our Future Aberdeen’ is the culmination of the Poem to Future Aberdeen project which ran during the Autumn and saw city residents of all ages share their hopes and dreams for Aberdeen in the years ahead. Using these community contributions as the inspiration for the poem, the library service worked with local poet Sheena Blackhall who was commissioned to create the final piece.

The poem will receive its first reading during Book Week Scotland on SHMU radio’s The Culture Club as well as being on display around the city and available to download and read by clicking on preview on the library services’ digital library, BorrowBox. The poem reads:

Our Future Aberdeen

What do our children think of Tomorrow?

Read & prepare for a shock!

The roads will be pink. The houses will move

All buildings can walk & talk.

Books will read to you. Plants will talk to you

And when you want to sleep

A Magic wind will blow you to bed, where rainbow clouds so steep

Will drop red rain on Aberdeen into water, green and deep

Other thoughts of Tomorrow?

All cars will be electric. All cars will go at the speed of light

Oh won’t it be ecstatic!

There’ll be parking space at Union Square. Aberdeen will be buzzing

There’ll be singing again at schools. There’ll be no more sanitizing

The Northern Lights will shine on us. More dolphins will swim in the sea

There’ll be less pollution and jobs for all. We’ll have far more trees. Yippee!

Our town will be helpful, happy, kind. We’ll fly as high as a bird

We’ll be peaceful, glorious, amazing, Doric, Gàidhlig and all tongues heard

There’ll be futuristic football, for all, Equality

With parks for dogs and wildlife spots fresh air by our beautiful sea

We’ve a great community culture as a tourist destination

No-one will live in poverty that’s our singular expectation

Two rivers sit at our city’s heart, the Don and the sparkling Dee

We’ll always play on the changing sands, by their soul mate, the North Sea

We’ll be green and clean in Aberdeen, welcome all nationalities

A football team of winners, and traditional tasty sweeties

Our Future won’t be all about size, about stature or great wealth

It’ll be about heart, wellbeing, about happiness and health

 by Sheena Blackhall

With thanks to the people of Aberdeen for sharing their thoughts and helping inspire this poem.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesperson, said: “The poem ‘Our Future Aberdeen’ is wonderfully descriptive, insightful and aspirational. I particularly like the lines ‘We’ve a great community culture as a tourist destination. No-one will live in poverty that’s our singular expectation.’

“Thanks to renowned local poet Sheena Blackhall and inspired suggestions from Aberdonians of all ages the poem has a real sense of optimism and that positivity will be welcome by all alike, particularly during these difficult times.”

This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions Book Week Scotland public events will not go ahead, however there are community-based and digital events to join. For more information visit: www.bookweekscotland.com