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TITLE
'The Gospel According to Pooh'
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_JIM_HEWITSON
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Jim Hewitson
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1377
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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The poem, 'The Gospel According to Pooh' was written by Jim Hewitson and appears in his latest publication, 'Boulders at Hirti Geo' (2007). It is read here by the author. (Image by kind permission of Paul Thorburn.)

'My name's Jim Hewitson and this is 'The Gospel According to Pooh'

We're all looking for answers, aren't we, to life's big questions, yet they, so often they seem to slip through our fingers like sand. Perhaps instead of seeking we should stop for just a moment in some quiet place and let the answers come to us.

The Gospel according to Pooh

At the top of the ladder, washing the windaes,
Everything suddenly becomes clear.
There, in the soapy bubbles - the answer,
And yet, on descending, the notion has flown,
Putting it quickly into words is the problem.

Or in the kitchen, making breakfast,
The universal solution lies in the cornflakes,
There in the swirling harmony of milk and toasted corn,
But with the first mouthful the idea has evaporated.
Putting it quickly into words is the problem.

Or in the garden, in the midst of serious spadework,
It is so obvious you wonder how you missed it,
The answer lies sparklingly in the dark soil,
Until the dog barks and the insight has gone.
Putting it quickly into words is the problem.

Or watching the chickens pecking, feeding,
Again the meaning of life makes itself known,
A fleeting instant of realisation,
But by the time you've brought their water from the loch
The brainwave has evaporated
Putting it into words is the problem.

The scene changes,
A university philosophy lecture,
on the nature of existence.
The professor notes a slumberer in the third row.
At the heart of this debate is one question,
the professor suggests.
That question: 'Does God exist?'
'And what do you think the answer is, Mr Macdonald?'

The slumberer hears his name, the last question only,
and shakes himself, seeking to retrieve the situation.
'Umm, uhh, aah. I know the answer, Professor
but I've forgotten it!'

The professor smiles:
'Ladies and gentlemen - we are witnesses
to one of the most distressing moments
in the history of mankind,
Mr Macdonald knows the secret of the universe...
But he has forgotten!'

Yes, putting it quickly into words IS the problem.
So perhaps it's best to remember Winnie the Pooh,
A bear of very little brains, who declared, as you'll recall:
'You think of Things,
you find sometimes that a Thing
which seemed very Thingish inside you
is quite different when it gets out into the open
and has other people looking at it.'

When it comes to the meaning of existence,
putting the unputtable into words,
Brainless Pooh is wiser than he seems. He knows
the answer is there in the bubble, the cereal, the soil and the student,
And that's where it should stay.

For the past twenty years Jim Hewitson has worked as a freelance journalist/writer based on the island of Papa Westray, Orkney, where he runs a bed and breakfast business with his wife Morag. They have three grown-up children and one grandson.

From the mid 1960s to mid 1980s Jim was a staff reporter on weekly, evening and daily Scottish newspapers culminating in a five-year stint as Edinburgh news editor of The Herald. In the early 1970s he travelled in Europe, living, working and writing in a dozen different countries and staying for extended spells in Umbria, Italy and Kifisia, near Athens.

In the past fifteen years Jim has written twelve books focusing on Scottish identity, island life and popular Scottish history, produced by a various Scottish publishers including Mainstream and Canongate. In the early 1990s he received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council to pursue his non-fiction writing.

In the early years of the new century Jim gained a first class honours MA in Scottish Studies from Aberdeen University and won the university's Nan Shepherd Prize for Scottish Literature in 2004. While at university he worked as a researcher with the BBC in Aberdeen. He has broadcast regularly on Scottish history and island life and given talks at book festivals, bookshops and libraries up and down the country.

Jim's latest book, 'Boulders at Hirti Geo', is a retrospective of forty years' writing and includes newspaper articles, poems, plays, short stories, university essays and children's stories. Jim is currently working on fiction, magazine articles and broadcasting regularly, as well as continuing his ongoing research project on Scottish identity and iconography.

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'The Gospel According to Pooh'

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Jim Hewitson

The poem, 'The Gospel According to Pooh' was written by Jim Hewitson and appears in his latest publication, 'Boulders at Hirti Geo' (2007). It is read here by the author. (Image by kind permission of Paul Thorburn.)<br /> <br /> 'My name's Jim Hewitson and this is 'The Gospel According to Pooh'<br /> <br /> We're all looking for answers, aren't we, to life's big questions, yet they, so often they seem to slip through our fingers like sand. Perhaps instead of seeking we should stop for just a moment in some quiet place and let the answers come to us.<br /> <br /> The Gospel according to Pooh<br /> <br /> At the top of the ladder, washing the windaes,<br /> Everything suddenly becomes clear.<br /> There, in the soapy bubbles - the answer,<br /> And yet, on descending, the notion has flown,<br /> Putting it quickly into words is the problem.<br /> <br /> Or in the kitchen, making breakfast,<br /> The universal solution lies in the cornflakes,<br /> There in the swirling harmony of milk and toasted corn,<br /> But with the first mouthful the idea has evaporated.<br /> Putting it quickly into words is the problem.<br /> <br /> Or in the garden, in the midst of serious spadework,<br /> It is so obvious you wonder how you missed it,<br /> The answer lies sparklingly in the dark soil,<br /> Until the dog barks and the insight has gone.<br /> Putting it quickly into words is the problem.<br /> <br /> Or watching the chickens pecking, feeding,<br /> Again the meaning of life makes itself known,<br /> A fleeting instant of realisation,<br /> But by the time you've brought their water from the loch<br /> The brainwave has evaporated<br /> Putting it into words is the problem.<br /> <br /> The scene changes,<br /> A university philosophy lecture, <br /> on the nature of existence.<br /> The professor notes a slumberer in the third row.<br /> At the heart of this debate is one question,<br /> the professor suggests.<br /> That question: 'Does God exist?'<br /> 'And what do you think the answer is, Mr Macdonald?'<br /> <br /> The slumberer hears his name, the last question only,<br /> and shakes himself, seeking to retrieve the situation.<br /> 'Umm, uhh, aah. I know the answer, Professor<br /> but I've forgotten it!'<br /> <br /> The professor smiles:<br /> 'Ladies and gentlemen - we are witnesses<br /> to one of the most distressing moments<br /> in the history of mankind,<br /> Mr Macdonald knows the secret of the universe...<br /> But he has forgotten!'<br /> <br /> Yes, putting it quickly into words IS the problem.<br /> So perhaps it's best to remember Winnie the Pooh,<br /> A bear of very little brains, who declared, as you'll recall:<br /> 'You think of Things,<br /> you find sometimes that a Thing<br /> which seemed very Thingish inside you<br /> is quite different when it gets out into the open<br /> and has other people looking at it.'<br /> <br /> When it comes to the meaning of existence,<br /> putting the unputtable into words,<br /> Brainless Pooh is wiser than he seems. He knows<br /> the answer is there in the bubble, the cereal, the soil and the student,<br /> And that's where it should stay.<br /> <br /> For the past twenty years Jim Hewitson has worked as a freelance journalist/writer based on the island of Papa Westray, Orkney, where he runs a bed and breakfast business with his wife Morag. They have three grown-up children and one grandson.<br /> <br /> From the mid 1960s to mid 1980s Jim was a staff reporter on weekly, evening and daily Scottish newspapers culminating in a five-year stint as Edinburgh news editor of The Herald. In the early 1970s he travelled in Europe, living, working and writing in a dozen different countries and staying for extended spells in Umbria, Italy and Kifisia, near Athens.<br /> <br /> In the past fifteen years Jim has written twelve books focusing on Scottish identity, island life and popular Scottish history, produced by a various Scottish publishers including Mainstream and Canongate. In the early 1990s he received a grant from the Scottish Arts Council to pursue his non-fiction writing.<br /> <br /> In the early years of the new century Jim gained a first class honours MA in Scottish Studies from Aberdeen University and won the university's Nan Shepherd Prize for Scottish Literature in 2004. While at university he worked as a researcher with the BBC in Aberdeen. He has broadcast regularly on Scottish history and island life and given talks at book festivals, bookshops and libraries up and down the country.<br /> <br /> Jim's latest book, 'Boulders at Hirti Geo', is a retrospective of forty years' writing and includes newspaper articles, poems, plays, short stories, university essays and children's stories. Jim is currently working on fiction, magazine articles and broadcasting regularly, as well as continuing his ongoing research project on Scottish identity and iconography.