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Collected Poems

Iain Crichton Smith

Cover Picture of Collected Poems
RRP: GBP 18.95
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Price: GBP 17.05
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Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857542 45 5
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: December 1995
216 x 135 x 30 mm
416 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Hardback
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  • When I opened the black chest there it was—
    the pure diamond of the sweet alas
    shining; quietly like a teardrop...

                                   from 'The Black Chest’ by Iain Crichton Smith


    As a child Iain Crichton Smith spoke Gaelic in his village on the island of Lewis. At school in Stornoway he spoke English. Like many islanders before and since, his culture is divided: two languages, two histories entailing exile, a central theme of his poetry in both tongues. His divided perspective sharply delineates the tyranny of history and religion, of the cramped life of small communities; it also gives him a tender eye for the struggle of women and men in a world defined by denials.

    Collected 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.
    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
     '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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