Monday, January 28, 2008


I was leafing through Norman MacCaig’s Selected Poems, one of my favourite volumes. The section from his 1966 collection, titled Surroundings (yes, I ripped it off), contains some amazing poems. The drama of his writing, the creation of movement you can see and almost feel is uncanny. It astonishes again and again. Here are a few lines from Go-between:

Out of a night
that felt like a grape’s skin
an owl’s voice shuddered.
Out of the running
blackness of a river pool
a white salmon unplugged
itself and fell back
in a smash of light.

I was going to write something about why this is good, but the why surely must be obvious.


Dave said...


Colin Will said...

Coinicidence. Brian J and I were just discussing how odd it is that nobody invited to take part in the 'Past & Present' StAnza sessions (or the old D.P. ones) has suggested MacCaig. He and I would both choose Norman, so it may be a joint effort in a couple of years, or pistols at dawn.

Anonymous said...

I chose him for a similar event at Poetry International in London a few years ago and talked about him and his work and read a poem.

There was also some discussion about a small introductory anthology of his work with a certain London publisher, but it seem his copyright is well tied-up.


SarahJane said...

explanation enough.