william fowler

Sonnet: In Orkney

english translation

Sonnet: In Orkney

original Scots poem

Sonet. In Orknay

Upon the utmost corners of the warld,
and on the borders of this massive round,
quhaire fates and fortoune hither hes me harld,
I doe deplore my greiffs upon this ground;
and seing roring seis from roks rebound
by ebbs and streames of contrair routing tyds,
and phebus chariot in there wawes ly dround,
quha equallye now night and day devyds,
I cal to mynde the storms my thoughts abyds,
which euer wax and never dois decress,
for nights of dole dayes Ioys ay ever hyds,
and in there vayle doith al my weill suppress:
so this I see, quhaire ever I remove,
I chainge bot sees, but can not chainge my love.


William Fowler

William Fowler (1560 – 1612) was a Protestant spy in Paris before returning to Scotland to become a minister and, later, moving to London to serve as secretary to Queen Anne. Besides composing original work, he also translated widely from the Italian masters such as Petrarch and Castiglione. His “Sonet: In Orknay” utilizes the rhyme scheme popularized by Fowler’s English contemporary, Edmund Spenser (1552 – 1599), thus representing Fowler’s quick talent for absorbing both classical and current trends in literature.



Kent Leatham

Kent Leatham holds an MFA in poetry from Emerson College and a BA in poetry from Pacific Lutheran University. His translations of medieval/Renaissance Scots-language poetry have appeared or are forthcoming from InTranslation, Rowboat, Anomalous Press, and Ezra. His original poetry has appeared in dozens of journals nationwide, such as Ploughshares, Fence, Zoland, and Poetry Quarterly. Previously a poetry editor for Black Lawrence Press, Kent currently teaches at California State University Monterey Bay.



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