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The Leaf and the Marble

Iain Crichton Smith

Iain Crichton-Smith - The Leaf and the Marble Cover
Categories: Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • When everything trembles, only love holds it together.
    Rome is an act of the will, but the leaf protects us.
    Day after day, year after year, Rome with its stony walls and
    statues is built above a cage of wolves.
    But love is not an act of the will.
    The Leaf and the Marble is an extended love poem. Beginning with a holiday in Italy, the poetry is transformed by passion and place into a meditation on the founding legends of the Classical world. Dido and Aeneas play a central role, the world of nature and the world of man are sharply contrasted. Rome and its empire were founded on the denial of love: the poet's task is to write love back.
    Iain Crichton Smith was born in Glasgow in 1928, but his father died of TB before he could know him, and his fiercely Calvinist mother took him back to her native Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. He grew up with his two brothers in the village of Bayble, where ... read more
    Praise for Iain Crichton Smith 'Crichton Smith's work abounds in variety'

    David Hackbridge Johnson, The High Window

    'The wealth of the poems it contains is extraordinary'

    Poetry Salzburg 

     '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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