Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Southern Scotland has had more than its fair share of poets, along them Rabbie Burns, Robert Davidson and James Hogg. But one Borders poet, Thomas Pringle, is far better known in South Africa than he is in his native Scotland. Born just south of Kelso in 1789, Pringle is sometimes acclaimed as 'the father of South African poetry'.

article summary —

If you spend any time at all in the Scottish borders, it’ll not be long before you stumble on a Pringle. From the banks of Gala Water, as you move south and east towards the Cheviots, there are Pringles aplenty. It is a clan of farmers and knitwear producers, although the eponymous potato crisp has, as far as we know, nothing to do with the Pringles of Scotland.

During our travels in South Africa, we have run across Pringles there too. And there is one particular Pringle who gets a lot of credit in literary circles — and in these days of post-colonial criticism also now a lot of flak. That’s Thomas Pringle, who is often credited by white, middlesnippet Sketches in Teviotdale class South Africans as “the father of South African poetry.”

It was 200 years ago that Pringle’s first collection of poetry was published.

This is just an excerpt. The full text of this article is not yet available to members with online access to hidden europe. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 58.

About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 58.