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Country For Old Men and My Canadian Uncle

Iain Crichton Smith

Cover Picture of Country For Old Men and My Canadian Uncle
RRP: GBP 7.95
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Price: GBP 7.16
Out of Print
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 857544 74 9
Categories: 20th Century, Canadian, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2000
215 x 135 x 13 mm
160 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • He spoke as if from the other side of death
    quite clearly and quite impressively.
    I think from your side it is tragedy
    but from my side here it's really comedy
    dry, not furious but temperate...


    from 'He Spoke'

                 
    Shortly before his death in 1998, Iain Crichton Smith wrote to his publisher with a manuscript. 'I am sending you this in case anything happens.' A Country for Old Men was the book, typed in his usual erratic way, and including - the title's tribute to Yeats - the exceptional final fruits of one of the most impassioned and moving of the Scottish poets of this century. Smith was always unusual in his ability to play the whole poetic instrument, without apologies, without stylistic ironies.

    'We move at random on an innocent journey', he wrote in one of his most celebrated poems, and this innocence remains the hallmark of his last poems. His human and his poetic task was to take randomness and give it significant form, one that draws answering forms from history and legend.

    His narrative and dramatic poem My Canadian Uncle is much earlier than A Country for Old Men and represents the poet's ambitious experiments with form, especially those forms which seem to bridge the gap between the poetic, prose narrative and drama.


    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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