Scotland’s Mountains – An Ode to Sir Hugh Monroe (Writing 201 day 5)

Poetry, scotland

cairngorms, scotland

Outdoor walking, early morning, hills loom above; a tidal wave of green,
Damp socks and wet boots waiting, silence but for the trickling of a stream,
Wild mountainous terrain; sometimes rolling, often rocky, by chance is it a dream?

A famous Scot; Sir Hugh Munroe, he catalogued the tallest mountains seen,
From Ben Lomond in the south to Ben Hope in the north; not smaller than three thousand feet,
Alas, Munro himself stood upon five hundred and thirty five peaks, sadly that’s three left to complete.

Peak of the shoe, ridge of the fox, hill of horse studs,
Summit of the corries, old upper part, hill of the son of duff,
These are the names of some Munros; originally in Gaelic, Norse and Scots,
That were given by hunters, herders and crofters in times long forgot,
This dramatic landscape, with ridges that bite and sides so sheer, may induce fear,
When I was young; father took me their; the memories are something to revere.

rannoch moor train station


(edit: I wasn’t quite happy; I had to re-work this a bit).

It’s day 5 of writing201. Prompt word – ‘Map’, form – ‘Ode’, device – ‘Metaphor’.

I decided to structure my Ode according to the traditional greek form; Pindaric Ode, which is the pattern – abb acc ddeeff.

Thinking about ‘Map’; I decided to write about my home country Scotland and Sir Hugh Munroe. Sir Hugh identified and created a table of all the mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet tall. It was published in Sept 1891. Over time it’s become something of a challenge to walk/climb all the Munroes, but not many have done it. Unfortunately for Sir Hugh he passed away just 3 Munroes short of his target of all 538 peaks. But he inspired generations of Scots to take up the challange and see the country by journey through his list of Munros.

The first picture is one I took at the very start of the year in the Cairngorms at Loch Morlich. The second was a little later in the year at Rannoch Moor. I also described a little of the feeling of being in the Munroes at the start. My dad took me walking there when I was young. Scotland has a lot of fairly wild and remote land, and with the highly changable weather; from sunshine to storms in an hour, you often end up in wet boots.

10 thoughts on “Scotland’s Mountains – An Ode to Sir Hugh Monroe (Writing 201 day 5)

    1. Hi, Thank you so much. It was a lovely day just as the sun was going down, and I was on my way to meet some school friends I hadn’t seen in a long time :)

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    1. Yes – it’s a shame he came so close to walking all the mountains; his passion, but I guess for him he just enjoyed the process of being in the moutains so perhaps it’s ok

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