Peter Smith, the Fisherman Poet of Cellardyke

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'Poetry Peter' Smith

Peter Smith was born in Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland, on 2 July 1874, the youngest of a family of six. He first went to sea at the age of nine on the sailing fishing boat 'Ruby' - an unforgettable experience which is recalled in his poem 'Tae Jeems'. Peter, like generations of his family before him, was to spend all his working life at sea; firstly in 'Fifie' sailing boats, then in Steam Drifters, before acquiring his own small inshore craft in his later years from which he fished for lobsters and crabs. Throughout his life, 'Poetry Peter' recited his poetry to appreciative audiences in fishing communities throughout the country, from the Shetland Islands in the north to Great Yarmouth in the south. A deeply religious man, a quality which is reflected in much of his work, Peter would also preach sermons in many of the fishing ports he visited. Peter's poetry paints a vivid picture of fisher life as it was in Scotland during the early part of the twentieth century. His work, which is written in the 'Auld Scot's Tongue' simply must be preserved for the sake of future generations.

Follow the links below to read examples of Peter Smith's work:

The Crew of the Yawl 'Day Dawn'

The Herrin'

The Fisherman

The Crew of the Steam Drifter 'Golden Strand'

Extract from 'Tae Jeems'

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