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New Collected Poems
Edited by Matt McGuire
RRP: GBP 18.95
ISBN: 978 1 847778 27 7
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2011
500 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
It is the island that goes away, not we who leave it.
Like an unbearable thought it sinks beyond
assiduous reasoning light and wringing hands,
or, as a flower roots deep into the ground,
it works its darkness into the gay winds
that blow about us in a later spirit.
from ‘The Departing Island’
Iain Crichton Smith's Collected Poems was awarded the Saltire Prize when it was published in 1992. This completely revised and enlarged edition includes seventy additional poems, mostly from the four books the poet published in the 1990s: Ends and Beginnings (1994), The Human Face (1996), The Leaf and The Marble (1998) and A Country for Old Men and My Canadian Uncle (2000), together with extracts from his 1971 translation of Sorley Maclean's epic Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin Eile (Poems to Eimhir, 1943), a founding moment of modern Gaelic poetry.
The new introduction by Matthew McGuire of the Department of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow, illuminates the range of Crichton Smith's achievement as a poet of Scotland and Europe, rooted in local tradition and, in Edwin Morgan's words, ‘open to the whole intellectual world’.
cover image: Marion MacPhee, Sound of Shiant (monotype, 2002). Copyright © Marion MacPhee www.marionmacphee.co.uk.
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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