Friday, April 09, 2010
Sad news that Willie Neill has died. Willie was born in Prestwick and came to teaching and literature after the RAF. He wrote powerfully in the three languages of Scotland and was for as long as I can remember the pre-eminent writer in Dumfries and Galloway and one of the best, though too often unacknowledged as such, in Scotland. If we had a Makar as they do in the big cities, Willie would have been in deserved possession of the title, not that he would have prized such a thing, as he said himself.
Such macho stunts a young man often tries
to win an option on the world's approval.
When Nemesis occasions their demise
the issue's hid from them by their removal.
Take my advice, accept the worst of bosses,
stick to the farm, the office, cut your losses.
Posthumous gongs are hardly worth the wearing.
In Hades, the pale phantom's past all caring.
Willie's was a great support to me when I started writing and he will be sadly missed by many. His funeral is in Castle Douglas on Tuesday 13th.