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Poem by retired Castle Douglas nurse included in landmark publication

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A poem written by a retired Castle Douglas nurse has been included in a landmark national publication.Betty Craig’s work Epona features in Scotland’s Stories: Tales from the People.The collection of vivid memories, collated by the Scottish Book Trust, celebrates the country’s rich storytelling tradition.BBC Scotland presenter Sally Magnusson launched the book in Glasgow on Monday as part of Book Week Scotland 2022.Betty, 72, who is originally from Springburn in the city, said: “I saw a call for submissions so I decided to have a go.“I had a poem half written which I had put on the back burner.

I decided to take it out and have another look at it.“Then I thought because it talks about place and memory and a sense of remembering it would be quite fitting for Scotland’s Stories.“And when I got news back that it had been accepted I was really surprised and delighted.”Epona – named after the Celtic-Roman horse goddess – describes Betty’s visit as a three-year-old girl to a gloomy Rutherglen smiddy beside the River Clyde.The beautiful rhythmic work portrays a wild-eyed horse tossing its mane as the blacksmith hammers on the shoe, both man and beast backlit by the glowing furnace.Betty, who worked at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow and latterly Castle Douglas Hospital, found writing Epona to be an enriching task.And it’s not the first time she has been published – her poem Gifts was part of the Great Scottish Canvas exhibition showcased at the COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow last November.She said: “After completing the poem I kind of understood myself as that three-year-old child, and what she experienced, a bit better.“Epona is in the origin stories section of the book and there are four other categories – community

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