The Scotsman

Richie Mc Caffery


Richie Mccaffery’s second collection Passport (Nine Arches Press, £9.99) is in part inspired by a move to Belgium, the sense of dislocatio­n a shift to Ghent provoked working its way into a number of new poems. ‘Currency’, however, appears to be set in the UK, although it illustrate­s the same theme. A German couple, returning for the first time in many years, attempt to pay a bill in shillings, unaware we changed to the metric system some time ago; the poet finds in this moment a metaphor for how a revelation of what we think matters often reveals our vulnerabil­ities.

In the restaurant on our last night the waitress tells us of an old German couple just in who’d tried to pay for their meal with shillings and farthings leftover from a happy holiday many decades ago.

They thought their gelt was current as ever, the way we all have something we think is valid, to be brought out in a flourish of earnestnes­s and laughed out of town.

You can find a copy of Passport by Richie Mccaffery at the Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton’s Close, Edinburgh EH8 8DT. For poetry enquiries, e-mail or visit www.scottishpo­etrylibrar­

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