Ross Wilson has released his third poetry collection, Letters to Rosie, which is quite clearly a love letter to fatherhood and his daughter. A stunning collection of poems, from the scan to more grown-up times, this is an intimate collection of work, which is a beautifully affecting read.

Ross Wilson comes from Kelty in West Fife and works full-time as an auxiliary nurse. The recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Clydebuilt Apprenticeship, his book Line Drawing was shortlisted for the 2019 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year award. 

Relative to all first time fathers out there, this is a collection that dotes on Rosie his daughter.

“I catch what I can with my pen
so that when you read this poem
the light that graced you as a bairn
will shine in you again.”

– from ‘Shine’, Letters to Rosie

This is a prime example of the beauty that exists within this pamphlet published by Tapsalteerie. The imagery, the use of Scots, the stunning metaphor, it makes it more than simply a gift kept for a daughter. Relative for all new fathers, this makes a wonderful present, and poems like Scan, Shapeshifter, For Rosie and Joy are all wonderful reads, opening an intimate door into what comes from the “wee bean on a screen, two centimetres long.”

Shapeshifter is a wonderful poem about how quick a baby evolves and changes, with every move, every look. For Rosie explores the transition to fatherhood, and that idea of them demanding so much attention within a home, it becomes objectionable and almost impossible to think of a life without them.

Joy has some wonderful metaphor, the notion of them rising up as if to a lectern at the pulpit, the profundity of those moments that seem to mean so much, with the “sermon of pure joy.” Gift is another stunning poem, that delivers thoughts of significant steps, from the scan to the first steps walking, documenting each of these as small gifts. Cherishing, sweet, delicate, each of these poems in Ross Wilson’s collection feel like they have been gifted to us, allowing us to take solace in these moments. A wonderful collection, Letters to Rosie, should sit next to Zagazoo on any parent’s bookshelf.

Letters to Rosie is out now, published by Tapsalteerie