Heriot-Watt University


Patrick's University Poetry

  • Patrick's University

    Patrick was Heriot-Watt University’s Poet (2019-2020). In retirement, as an Emeritus Professor, he continues in the informal role. He is Vice-President of the Watt Club – the University’s alumni association – and encourages poetry in that role too.

    Patrick conceived of, and won the support of the Principal for, this new, voluntary role in order to promote the use of poetry in teaching and communication across the University.

    In this role, he has developed a network of staff, students and friends in the nearby community interested in poetry. The group has a monthly Poetry-in-Practice group, circulates a poem of the month (see example from Prof Ruth Aylett), and has been involved in various University events: Stakeholder Meeting, Celebration Events, Research Forums, Well-Being Weeks and other collective events.

    The coding workstation (PC)

    Patrick hosted a poetry residency for Alyson Hallett in the Lyell Centre (Nov 2019) which has led to the publication of “Tilted Ground” in 2020: a collection of poems and thoughts celebrating Earth and Marine Science. This volume can be purchased from Patrick for £12 (incl P&P) by contacting him at p.w.m.corbett@hw.ac.uk. All profits from these sales will go to Heriot-Watt’s Sir Walter Scott Circle which supports student access bursaries.

    "Tilted Ground" by Alyson Hallet

    Alyson Hallet's poetry can be found on her own website, The Stone Library.

    Patrick's poems on Heriot-Watt reflect his personal vision of the University and its proud heritage.

  • Heriot-Watt Heritage

    neither Heriot nor Watt did
    go to our young University
    where the past is the future’s key
    as no-one knows who comes along
    but with the vision of Bryson
    and healthy dose of Horner
    thinking globally like Geddes
    acting locally like Mearns
    breaking down barriers like Ogilvie
    prosing it like Spark (nee Camburg)
    setting concrete, Sir Basil Spence,
    these are the ones in our heritage
    that tell us the current class
    will join our family Watt Club
    and help future-proof our world

    Vernon was first President
    of an evening club, that went
    on to be the first alumni association.
    Begetting JC and JS Gomes, father and son.
    Now it the class of Shima, Abdullah and Ng.
    We put the brew in BrewDog
    There’s Scott Russell’s name -
    of Aquaduct and Building fame
    There’s the Miner Buchan from Peterhead,
    who became our major chancellor:
    “It’s not the distant peak you look towards” he’d say
    “but the steps you take on the way”.
    Heriot-Watt is a good step today.

    International, practical, respectful!

    James Watt’s Statue, HWU Riccarton Campus (PC)

  • Happy Wee University

    We are not just happy, we are flourishing.
    Embedded in a balm of well-being,
    the environment is nourishing.
    Heriot-Watt’s surely the place to be in.

    Autumn leaves on HWU Campus, Riccarton (PC)

  • Heriot-Watt Values (revised)

    Heriot-Watt crosses four seas
    to deliver its new strategies,
    in all lands where it sees
    people with latent abilities

    Take each community;
    celebrate that diversity;
    staff and students aim to achieve
    the best they themselves can be

    Where creativity and ideas matter;
    the academic forge, to which all belong;
    temper excellence in research, all along
    teaching to transform lives for the better

    Take up the challenge, be so
    respectful and collaborate; the heart of all we do.
    There is no status quo.
    There is no place we cannot go

    Show some courage
    Speak out, have the confidence to make a difference in our age.
    The world faces many challenges.
    We must rise and inspire!

    Gate to nowhere, HWU Riccarton Campus (PC)