Friday, April 09, 2010

Willie Neill

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.


mapstew said...

My condolences for the loss of your friend Willie.

hope said...

It's always sad when a mentor passes on. Sorry to hear of your loss.

Anonymous said...

A mentor to many. In his prime he was a match for anyone. Stoosh.

Stooshie said...

For some reason I forgot to log in before posting the above, then a day went missing. As someone who was privileged to know Willie & Dodo, been a guest in their home, & having published Willie's work, it's very sad news, though he'd been ill for some time & not the same man, by all accounts.

As a young writer & publisher, I contacted Willie to ask if he'd contribute to the mag I put out. Within a few days, he'd sent a dozen new poems & three of his books to me. He was an avid correspondent, a true autodidact who fostered love & knowledge of literature & language in me to the extent that I consider him the biggest influence on my own work. We'll no see his likes again. Have a dram or three in CD for me, Shug.

Titus said...

Sorry to read this shug.
Love those lines.