SHE could almost be described as scunnered.

One of Scotland’s most lauded poets, whose words adorn the national monument at Bannockburn and who has been honoured in poetry’s prestigious awards, has revealed she has given up writing in the language she loves the most: Scots.

Kathleen Jamie, whose book The Bonniest Companie was named the 2016 Scottish Book of the Year, said disputes over the language, increasing political connotations, and “problems of legitimacy, as well as readability” mean she feels she cannot write in the tongue any more.

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Writing in the new edition of the Irish Pages literary journal, to be launched at the Crossways literary festival in Glasgow next week, she says she has “given up even trying to write in Scots”.

The Fife-based writer adds: “But I want to. I long to, it’s the most intimate, heartfelt speech I have. It’s also wild and diverse and scunneratious and un-establishment. Some folk want to keep it that way, and not have become established and government-sanctioned and spelled correctly.”

She adds, while some writers prefer Scots “unfixed, unteachable, like a sparrowhawk”, she says: “The problems defeat me. I mean the problems of legitimacy, as much as readability.”

She adds that if she takes Scots words “from hither and yon”, from people, books and dictionaries, “then its ‘synthetic’, which is wrong, apparently.”

The poet says that if “synthetic” Scots is judged to be illegitimate, then “we’re all reduced to the language we half-learned as a wean/bairn/child.”

She notes: “And a Scots which is just orthodox English with a few braw words displayed, as on a tee-shirt, that’s just signalling. Isn’t it?”

Ms Jamie said it was hard to find poets writing “real poems in good, fulsome Scots.”

In her article, entitled The Wild Life of Scots, she praises Scots poets, Roseanne Watt, Brian Holton and Harry Giles, who are “acutely interested in language, in syntax rather than messaging.”

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The poet, who is the new Scottish editor of the journal, writes: “No one denies there is Scots speech.

“The politically motivated ding-dong about whether it’s a language or a dialect or just slang is very wearisome. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

Ms Jamie adds elsewhere: “And we haven’t even begun to talk about the independence referendum.

“Awful, if Scots is to be the mascot of one side only – guess which.

“I’m truly glad that I can’t make political assumptions about my neighbours based on their use of Scots.”

Chris Agee, editor of Irish Pages, which is running the Crossways literary festival from Monday in Glasgow, said: “It was the editorial consensus that a focus on Scots would be an appropriate subject for her editorial debut, particularly given her strong feelings on the subject.

“Of course Ulster Scots is also a live issue in the north of Ireland so that an interweaving between the two Scots is a perfect fit.”

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Last night Asif Khan, director of the Scottish Poetry Library, said: “To a degree, Kathleen Jamie is right to be weary and wary. There’s no getting away from the fact that language is political.

“Hugh MacDiarmid famously countered against ‘linguistic imperialism’ in his poem In Memoriam James Joyce.

“I grew up in an education system that looked upon speaking and writing in Scots with disdain.

“My main exposure to Scots language in print was through Oor Wullie and The Broons, which sometimes presented dialogue unheard of in my native Dundee.”

He added: “Since returning to Scotland after a long time in England, I have been surprised, and sometimes appalled, at the manner in which writing in Scots is often contested for its authenticity and legitimacy.

“Nevertheless, I am heartened by Jamie’s assertion that Scots is ‘the most intimate, heart-felt speech’ she has.

“Scots is alive and well in performance poetry, which has seen a rapid growth in the number of artists and audiences in recent years.”

The launch of Irish Pages latest issue, with Ms Jamie's piece included, is on Friday 13 at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, as part of the Crossways Festival.