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A Book of Lives
ISBN: 978 1 857549 18 8
Categories: 21st Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: February 2007
216 x 135 x 8 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle)
Is the universe rippling with life? What sign is
there that space is filled
With anything but gas and fire and rock?
Are we the tillers to have it tilled?
I think so! And with these red hands, an act of love?
Why not? We cry but we create, we kill but we build.
from 'Love and the Worlds'
No wonder Edwin Morgan is Scotland's best-loved poet. His poems teem with lives and loves and are marked by an unusual love of the present and the future. He finds forms for themes and ideas just out of reach. In his latest collection poems both profound and witty are to be found: occasional verse that transcends its occasion, explorations of the human condition conducted with a virtuosic lightness of touch. A Book of Lives draws together the themes that inform his poetic world. The largest vistas of human history, from twenty billion years BC to 9/11 and the 'war on terror'; Scotland from Bannockburn to the opening of the Scottish parliament; portraits - of Rimbaud, the emperor Hirohito, Raeburn's skating Reverend Walker... Poems for birthdays and elegies celebrate friends; a dramatic dialogue about cancer sets personal experience in a wry evolutionary context. At the heart of the collection, a major sequence, 'Love and a Life', affirms the inextinguishable energies of love and art.
Awards won by Edwin Morgan Winner, 2000 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry
Praise for Edwin Morgan '[Dreams and Other Nightmares] is a gorgeous lucky-bag of bits and pieces...'
Alan Spence, Sunday Herald Best Books Of 2010 'Morgan's poetry has always been large, vigorous and imaginative. It has been energetic and various.'
lain Crichton Smith 'There seems no subject Morgan cannot alight upon with his effervescent art.'
The Scotsman 'Morgan is just as capable of taking the breath away in cool, stanzaic English, as in roustabout Scots free verse.'
VERSE 'Edwin Morgan is probably the writer most influential (in this) generation of Scottish poets.'
Robert Crawford '(Morgan) is still at the height of his powers as storyteller, polemicist, lyric poet and translator.'
Alan Brownjohn 'Mr Morgan writes in a way which I would characterise as generous and forceful as well as immediately sensible.'
The Scotsman 'Mr Morgan is as versatile as he is inventive ... the qualities that most appeal are a capacity for celebration ... and an unsentimental humaneness, a considering sympathy.'
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