Master of Arts News


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Julie-Marie Bristol

Formerly a part of the Scandinavian empire, the Shetland Islands were pledged to Scotland in 1469 as part of a marriage arrangement involving Princess Margaret of Norway. Though now part of the Scottish realm and culture, Shetland maintained strong political and commercial links with Norway for some time, and the resulting blend of culture, traditions, and language resulted in the unique Shetland regional identity that remains more than 500 years later. This distinctive heritage is epitomized in the beautiful dialect, poetry, and strong oral traditions so characteristic of the Shetland Islands. It is this rich Shetlandic history that Julie Bristol has tried to convey as part of her Applications course, included as part of a presentation she created complete with interviews conducted with several Shetland poets, readings by two Shetland poets, and readings of her own poems that are written in the Shetland dialect.

Here is an excerpt from one of her poems to give you a feel for the melodious vernacular:

Ma dowter’s i ma airms
wi a glim apö her ee
Harken, mither! she sudden cries –
A trow is whit I’ll be.
Strampin aa owre Shetlan
birlin and rowlin da kames,
flinging da wadder aa roon aboot,
rummelin aabody’s hames;
makin da boanniest pictures
wi da lichts dat are held nort by

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Degree: Master of Arts
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