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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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781857542455
ISBN-10: 1857542452
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 135mm x 30mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Carcanet Press Ltd
Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
Publish Date: 30-Dec-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Iain Crichton-Smith

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 Poems (1992, paper-back 1996), Ends and Beginnings (1995), The Human Face (1997), The Leaf and the Marble (1998) and Selected Stories (1990).

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