Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Best Scottish Poems 2007

The list of Best Scottish Poems 2007, part of an annual series produced by the Scottish Poetry Library and chosen this year by Alan Spence, is now online.

Of the 20 poems, my favourites were:

Unaccompanied by Fiona Benson
Afterlife by John Burnside
Salvador Dali: Christ of St John of the Cross by Edwin Morgan

I enjoyed some of the others too.

I’m not going to say which ones, as I have to live in this country and don’t want to get into fistfights unnecessarily, but I thought that a few of these poems were awful


Ben Wilkinson said...

Ah... this features, as last year, a poem by Frances Leviston... although I'm not so sure about 'Lookout' (as compared with the brilliant 'Atheist Lighting a Candle').

The poem interests me personally, however, as I sent some poems to Frances a while before this appeared, and one of these was 'Filter', which later appeared in Poetry Review. It featured the line 'its forty-one million square miles of swallowing depression', which whether consciously or not, reforms itself in 'Lookout' as 'its million-galloned grief'. Added to this is the fact that the poem I coincidentally published in the same issue of The Red Wheelbarrow as 'Lookout' was 'S.O.S': 'There's something in the waves rise and fall / that makes me sure I've been here before. // Perhaps in others ink as poets tend to borrow it...'
How did I know? Well, that would be telling... ;)

Observations aside, though, and I very much like John Burnside's 'Afterlife' snippet.

Rob said...

I thought 'Lookout' was OK, but I agree with you that last year's 'Atheist Lighting a Candle' was far superior - "spot on," as 2006 editor Janice Galloway puts it.