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Deer on the High Hills
Edited by John Greening
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (320 pages)
(Pub. May 2021)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. May 2021)
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Growing up on the Isle of Lewis, Iain Crichton Smith spoke only Gaelic until he was five. But at school in Bayble and then Stornoway, everything had to be in English. Like many islanders before and since, his culture is divided: two languages, two histories entailing exile, a central theme of his poetry. His divided perspective sharply delineates the tyranny of history and religion, of the cramped life of small communities; it gives him a tender eye for the struggle of women and men in a world defined by denials.
Deer on the High Hills: Selected Poems includes forty years' work and proves that big themes - love, history, power, submission, death - can be addressed without the foil of irony and acquire resonance when given a local habitation and a voice that risks pure, impassioned speech. Editor John Greening provides indexes, a preface and an essay on the life and work of this important poet.
Awards won by John Greening Winner, 2001 TLS Centenary Winner, 1998 Bridport Award Winner, 2008 Cholmondeley Award
'Crichton Smith's work abounds in variety'
David Hackbridge Johnson, The High Window
'The wealth of the poems it contains is extraordinary'
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
Praise for John Greening 'A fine collection of verse... constantly fresh and insightful. It is a collection to return to frequently, to immerse oneself in its richness, its darkness, and its felicity of voice'
David Malcolm, Poetry Salzburg Review
'It's a loving and inventive meditation on the sources of creative inspiration; the vagaries of artistic confidence... Greening immerses us in the radiant muddle in which Sibelius found himself during the last three decades of his life.'
Frank Beck, The Manhattan Review
'Historical encounters are handled with superb formal control, their power coming from the combination of almost surreal imaginative coincidences with a purity of diction'
William Bedford, The High Window
'This is an intelligent, satisfying collection and, appropriately for poetry where one of the main subjects is a musician, it is consistently musical'
Alwyn Marriage, London Grip
'Beyond the admirable craftsmanship that characterises almost all of his work, one of Greening's great strengths is his historical imagination.'
Glyn Pursglove 'Delightfully alert to connections and intersections, to historical ironies... [Greening is] a serious (but never excessively solemn) poet, who cares about both 'facts' and ideas and makes his poetry out of the interpenetration of the two.'
Glyn Pursglove 'So to conclude calamity in rest.' In his powerful new collection, John Greening opens lines of communication with poets of the Great War, bridging a century with heart-work of immediacy, economy and humanity.'
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