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The Human Face

Iain Crichton Smith

RRP: GBP 7.95
Discount: 10%
You Save: GBP 0.79

Price: GBP 7.16
Out of Print
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857542 51 6
Categories: 20th Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: September 1996
215 x 135 x 5 mm
64 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Man's inhumanity to man:
    his legacy of grief and pain,
    worse than the tiger or the lion,
        constricts the heart
    and makes us often 'howling' run
        to our safe art

    O see Man as he really is
    in all his frightened nakedness

    In The Human Face, an impassioned poem-essay in Burns's most celebrated poetic form, Iain Crichton Smith evokes the democratic spirit of Burns in an age starved of tolerance and clarity. This is the poet's most ambitious and risky poem to date. It has the humane scope and sweep of the major poems of MacDiarmid and MacLean, and it is by their measure that Smith must now be appraised. Douglas Dunn wrote in The Times Literary Supplement of 'that purity, that touch of originality, which marks poetry at the limits of intuition and imagining.' Robert Nye in The Times declared of the Collected Poems: 'Crichton Smith's net is quite wide, but its meshes are splendidly small, and he is always catching more than he probably intended.'
    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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