A – Z requests

November 15, 2011

On twitter and facebook, we said:

Feeling in an A-Z sort of mood here today: tweet us the name of a poet beginning with A and we’ll seek out a line from their work for you 🙂

And you did! 

Here’s the responses from today:

For @bunnethustler on twitter:

For love must be spoken, not whispered, that it may be/ seen and heard. It must be without camouflage,/ conspicuous, noisy – Yehuda Amichai

For on twitter:

I finally wrote down the words/ that for so long I dared not say – Anna Akhmatova, 1910

For many, many people on twitter:

It was late, late in the evening,/The lovers they were gone;/The clocks had ceased their chiming,/And the deep river ran on – Auden

For @idea15webdesign on twitter:

No one knows / my lonely heart / when we’re apart. – Maya Angelou

For on twitter:

Now they are no longer/ any trouble to each other/ he can turn things over, get down to that list/of things that never happened – Armitage

For Helen Addy on facebook:

 ‘Souls are divorced many times. They exist as discarded fragments – a name left behind, / an unfashionable scarf, / nail parings. / They are so light without us.’  – Moniza Alvi from ‘Without Us’ in Souls, 2002

Pending requests:

Atwood, Agard, John Ash, John Ashbery, AA Milne (“I reckon we file him under M… but could make an exception later maybe :)”), Dafydd ap Gwilym (“Had a look and we do have some by him (but we file under G – is that wrong?)”), Anderson, Anonymous, Apollinaire as in Guillaume Apollinaire, Adcock, Arnold.

Keep them coming in!

Sorley MacLean

November 15, 2011


We’re looking forward to Polygon’s launch of Sorley MacLean’s Collected Poems, Caoir Gheal Leumraich / White Leaping Flame at the Library on Wednesday. The jacket image is so evocative – not the elder statesman of Gaelic poetry but the young man who knew that he was an ‘idealist democratic revolutionary’ when he was twelve. The photograph suggests vulnerability, eagerness and energy in equal measures.

I always thought that poets would ‘collect’ their own poems with great care and discrimination, whereas in fact some are quite cavalier, even careless. When Carcanet Press first proposed to publish a collected edition of Sorley Maclean’s poems in 1988, I saw him literally gather together old proofs and photocopies, convinced he’d managed to mislay some important poems along the way. Some of them have at last been recovered.

This new collection is a work of impeccable scholarship, edited by Christopher Whyte and Emma Dymock. It’s also a tribute of devotion to the poet who hauled Gaelic poetry into the twentieth century – albeit not single-handed – and assured its place in the great world of European poetry, in the company of Yeats and Blok and Valéry. It’s a fitting conclusion to this year of centenary celebrations.

~ Robyn