Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Poems: Bluid-Kin

Bluid-Kin: Poems in Scots and English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen. Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen
Cover: Sìne NicTheàrlaich.(2011) ISBN 978 1 870978 19 4. Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University claims that everyone in Europe is descended from seven women, who arrived at different times during the last 45,000 years, to form clans that eventually became today's population. He concluded this by studying mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down from mothers to children.Haplogroup K appeared 16,000 years ago, as populations followed the retreating ice northward. Tests show that Oetzi, the 5,200-year-old remains of a Copper Age man frozen in an Alpine glacier, belongs to haplogroup K, the DNA grouping shared with the poet Sheena Blackhall. It is found in Britain, the Western European Alps, and 32% of Ashkenazi Jews. In Europe its frequency is 5.6%. By 1931, Ashkenazi Jews comprised nearly 92% of world Jewry. The eminent Jewish-Scottish scholar David Daiches stated that Scotland was the only European country which has no history of state persecution of Jews. Aberdeen and Dundee had links to Baltic port which had large Jewish populations; it’s probable that Jews came to Scotland to trade with their Scottish counterparts. Some of these poems have appeared in Enormities (Malfranteaux Concepts, Aberdeen, ISBN 978 1 870978 70 5). Others have already been published on Two will feature in a forthcoming issue of Poetry Scotland (Callander). Half of this collection was written at Balquidder, Callander, the remainder at Oban and Mull.