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A final mystery? February 26, 2010

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Right at the start, when we discovered the story of Elizabeth for the first time, we heard her family had a secret poem which was passed down the generations, from mother to daughter. The whole time we’ve been working on the assumption that this poem was very old indeed.

But something has been bothering us. Line 5 reads:

Wed in the Trinity Kirk, afore it came down;

The Kirk was demolished in 1848 to make way for Waverley Station, and Elizabeth was born in 1804. We know nothing about her mother, but … how could a previous generation know that the Kirk would be demolished? The poem can hardly be the same one that was passed through the generations.

Maybe the final lines will shed light on this.

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The Face of Elizabeth? February 24, 2010

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We have been delighted at each and every discovery of a line from Elizabeth’s poem. But we did not expect what arrived at Hunt The Poem HQ today.

The downturn in the economy has closed many small businesses around the city. One poem hunter — who wants to remain nameless, for reasons which will become obvious — has been clearing an office in Tollcross which was, in happier times, a photographer’s studio. In one of the cupboards she discovered a box of prints marked UNCOLLECTED, and on a impulse slipped them into her bag to save them from the sheriff’s officers.

When she looked through them at home, among the many sombre family groups and devotional portraits she discovered a familiar name: Elizabeth Galbraith. The dates do seem to correspond to what we know of Elizabeth’s lifespan.

Could this be a photograph of Elizabeth, the last one to carry this particular poem?

Final Clue February 20, 2010

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At last we’ve got the clue to the final line — Line 5. The rest of Elizabeth’s poem is out there and waiting to be found.

But wait

Tick Tock February 17, 2010

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It’s been a great week for Hunt The Poem so far. Seven lines have been safely returned to the Poetry Library. But now we hear two lines are in danger of being lost forever.

Line 12 is one of the easiest challenges; all you need to do is send an email about a poem you particularly like. Of course it’s not quite that simple — what could that mention of courage be about? — but it’s easy to get started. The bad news is, if you don’t start this challenge in the next couple of days, you will never find line 12.

Also Line 1 is still out there somewhere. It’s surely the key to understanding Elizabeth’s poem, yet nobody can seem to find it. We hear one family got very close but missed an important clue.

Maybe this will help — an eagle-eyed hunter spotted it in last week’s copy of The List:

I SAW YOU hunting the poem. I left a message for Rab at the elephant house.

The only other thing we’ve heard about Line 1 is “Gavin doesn’t like to go to Nicolson Street.” Does this mean anything to you?

Line 3 found February 17, 2010

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The poem hunters are getting serious this week. Chris Scott — clearly a man with an appreciation for history — took a walk in the footsteps of Burke & Hare and snatched up line 3.

Chris finds Line 3

First kiss wi a man wi blood on his knife;

You can still hunt line 3 yourself for fun but the prize is gone! Try another line instead?

A Clue From The Past February 14, 2010

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You’ve been all over Edinburgh searching for the missing lines of Elizabeth’s poem. But now you need to take a step further — and walk into the past.

Pull on a pair of sturdy shoes, and print out the clue to Line 3.

Cross Purposes February 13, 2010

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After all these terribly cryptic clues and expeditions around the city, you may be pleased to see that the clue for Line 11 is a simple crossword you can do at home with your feet up in front of the fire.

But wait — one of the crossword clues is missing. How could anybody possibly complete it?

Chew On This February 11, 2010

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A clue for Line 9 is here for you to ponder over lunch. It’s another cryptic one, just as fiendish as Line 4. That’s been unsolved for nine days now. Are you getting anywhere? Post a comment and let us know.

New Clues February 9, 2010

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Now the poem is beginning to reappear, we’re hearing about new clues.

Sounds like Line 2 will suit you outdoorsy types. Or try Line 12 if you are happiest curled up with a book of poetry.

Something For The Weekend February 6, 2010

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Has all this interest in her poem stirred up Elizabeth’s ghost? We’ve just received a collection of new clues to the missing lines of her poem. That’s six in total — half the poem is out there and waiting to be found. Will you be the first to find one?

Check out Line 1, Line 7 and Line 8.

On The Trail February 4, 2010

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This morning we hear that poem hunters are closing in on Line 6. But you could still get there first — grab your camera and join in!

Or if you would rather Carry a Poem through the post, check out the new clue for Line 10.

Go Fourth February 2, 2010

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A clue has turned up about line 4 of the poem. We can’t make any sense of it. Can you?

Do leave a comment if you have any ideas.

The Hunt Begins February 1, 2010

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It’s February 1st and we’ve had the first clue to a line of the poem. Get out there and get hunting! If you find a line, bring it safely to the Poetry Library as quick as you can.

If you want to do your research first, read about the last owner of the poem, Elizabeth Galbraith.