Official Website of Author, Poet & Translator
John J. Coutts
Welcome to my website! I am a poet, performer, author and translator. I've written extensively for BBC radio and published books and articles in the fields of literature and religion. I am also Poet-in-Residence at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum here in Stirling, Scotland.
As a poet, I believe that obscurity is not profundity, and that obscenity is not originality. I write in 'traditional' metres - and many of my poems are intended for public performance as well as private reading.
My qualifications include a first class degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford University and PhD in New Testament Studies from Edinburgh University. I am also a linguist - a number of my translations from Russian appear in:
The Complete Works of Alexander Pushkin in English" - Published by Milner & Co..
I enjoy broadcasting - my "Thought for the Day" has been frequent feature on BBC Radio Scotland'. I have also written many 'News Assembly' scripts for schools, published online by Optimus Education. I also contribute to the online magazine 'Worship Live,' (www.worshiplive.org.uk)
POEM OF THE MONTH
The Riverside Christmas rap
[writen for Riverside Primary School,
Stirling, Scotland. Please join in!
Now gather round and listen very well:
I’ve come with a wonderful tale to tell.
For Santa Claus will soon appear,
And…Christmas comes but once a year.
(He knows where to go: he’s got a big map)
So… join in the Riverside Christmas rap.
Santa, Santa drop in here...
For….Christmas comes but once a year -
With Red-nosed Rudolph galloping ahead.
Just leave a bagful by my bed;
(Santa, we know, is a generous chap;
So...join in the Riverside Christmas rap
Saint Nicholas rang on my mobile phone!
I didn’t get a row and it wasn’t a moan,
But he told me plainly “Don’t forget!
You must give to live – and not just get!”
I heard his message – loud and clear –
That…Christmas comes but once a year
We mustn't get stuck in the greediness trap…
Just… join in the Riverside Christmas rap.
So Santa, kindly fly away,
As fast as you can on your magical sleigh
And zoom through space at amazing speed
To carry our love to a Child in Need!
Let all your reindeers’ tinkling bells
Ring out in praise of pumps and wells;
And cool, cool water from a brand new tap,
As we …join in the Riverside Christmas Rap.
We don’t need Rudolph - we haven’t got a sleigh –
But we’ve got a treat for Christmas - or any other day:
It’s faith - and hope - and tender loving care:
You can wrap it up in sympathy and package it in prayer:
And take it to the box where Jesus lies -
The Prince of peace - God’s big surprise –
His wonderful love is always near…
Though… Christmas comes but once a year.
If you like this poem, give me a clap.
And…join in the Riverside Christmas Rap.
A BOX OF SURPRISES
"An entertainment in poetry and storytelling"
I visit schools, clubs, theatres and churches, offering a flexible and engaging performance which interests both old and young - and gives the audience a chance to join in.
The "Box of Surprises" turns out to be a "Pirate's Chest" full of treasures - ordinary items with extraordinary stories.
A second theme - "True Tales of a Long Lifetime' - takes us a journey of discovery if prose and verse, mixing laughter, reflection, entertainment and insight. "
'The Box of Surprises'" was full of words of wit and wisdom - and your readings gave us rhythms and rhymes, moving us to laughter and near tears." - Liberton Kirk Guild: