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In My Father's House
Categories: 21st Century, Scottish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2005)
But Dad said 'Monsters do not change
their spots.' How did he know?
Oh he did, just did, just did.
from 'Loch Morar'
From a quick-tempered singing grandmother to a performance of The Mikado in an African village: David Kinloch's exploration of his relationship with his father is both unexpected and affectionate. An extended sequence of poems moves from personal memory to reflections on the values embodied in such cultural father-figures as the explorer David Livingstone and the Irish patriot Roger Casement. Translations of poems by Paul Celan and others into vivid Scots weave through the sequence, illuminating the disturbing connections between patriarchy and twentieth-century violence. In contrast, moving and humorous 'dissections' of adult relationships evoke images of the body both scientific and spiritual, culminating in a long narrative poem that celebrates the loving relationship between two seventeenth-century diplomats and doctors, against the background of the bustling city of Constantinople.
Table of Contents
In My Father's House
I Set Off Upon my Journey to the House of Shaws
A Cardross Callas
'Ye caun traistly'
The Earth Dies Too
Roger Casement's Beard
La Tour de Ganne
Pictures at an Exhibition
Dancing in the Archives
'A dunnerin: it is'
'In waters nor o thi future'
Painting by Numbers
'Because ye fund the trauchleskelf'
Impressions of Africa
Baines His Dissection
Awards won by David Kinloch Short-listed, 2017 Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award (In Search of Dustie-Fute) Commended, 2011 The Scotsman's Book of the Year (Finger of a Frenchman) Winner, 2004 Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award
'A sparkling collection: full of sensuous richness and linguistic inventiveness. As the punning title of the book might suggest, there is much about fathers and sons, including the moving simplicity of a walk with a dead father 'and then/I let him go,/but this moment/which is far the hardest pain/remains'. But Kinloch unrolls a convincing set of unexpected scenarios: outspoken excerpts from Roger Casement's diaries intercut with the horrors of the Belgian oppression in Africa; tightly drawn translations of Celan into Scots; and a most impressive long poem, 'Baines His Dissection', where a medical man is seen embalming the body of his friend and lover, against the background of a brilliantly evoked Middle East of the seventeenth century.'
Edwin Morgan Praise for David Kinloch 'David Kinloch is one of the most innovative poets ever to come out of Scotland... his readers must be prepared to take a long voyage through language, imagination and space.'
Douglas Messerli, Hyperallergic
'Skill and vitality make this handsome publication a true and tender elegy for pleasures shared and love recalled.'
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