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The Exiles

Iain Crichton Smith

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RRP: GBP 6.95
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Price: GBP 6.25
Out of Print
ISBN: 978 0 856354 95 3
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: January 1991
190 x 130 x 8 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • Twenty years ago, Iain Crichton Smith said of his work on a BBC programme: 'I have always believed in a poetry which contains fighting tensions and not in a poetry of statement.' This remains the case with his most recent work. The tensions are constant: between English and Gaelic, between mind and body, between his native Lewis and the Highlands where he spent many years, between expectation and reality. He is not a 'nature poet', perhaps - as he himself suggests - 'because I was brought up in close hard contact with it.' The focus is on people, his primary subject.

    The Exiles
    is his first Carcanet collection. The title defines his primary theme, one that obsesses him as it does many others; and though the occasion for many of these poems is exile from a particular place and a particular community, the theme is universal in application and resonance. Here there is imposed and elected exile, with the losses entailed both to the land and to the individual. Another aspect of the theme is 'inner exile', the man who through his vocation or expectations is exiled from his community even as he lives in it.

    The majority of the poems in this book are contained in Iain Crichton Smith's New Collected Poems (2011). 

    Iain Crichton Smith was born in 1928 on the island of Lewis. Educated at Aberdeen University, he became a teacher after national service. In 1977 he resigned to write full time. He received many awards, including the OBE in 1980. He died in 1998. Carcanet publish his Selected Poems (1985), Collected ... read more
    Praise for Iain Crichton Smith  'Over the years [his] poetry has increased in strangeness and beauty. He is a poet of his own discontents, but one who has submitted his unrest to the demands of the imagination.'
    Times Literary Supplement
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New Collected Poems Iain Crichton Smith,
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