The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown Paperback – 5 Oct 2006
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Extraordinarily effective (Robert McCrum, The Observer)
A brilliant writer (Spectator)
George Mackay Brown really does possess the magician's touch (Observer)
A dazzling writer (The Guardian)
Undoubtedly the most important document of his work to be produced so far. (Shetland Times, Malachy Tallack.)
George Mackay Brown has added uniquely and steadfastly to the riches of poetry in English: his sense of the world and his way with words are powerfully at one with each other (Seamus Heaney)
The Collected Poems show the range and depth of his work, the beauty of it, "the undersong of terrible holy joy" (Scotsman)
The reader embarks on a voyage - which is how Mackay Brown himself saw his work - through the elemental world of his cliff-girt, craggy isles. (The Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnston)
Practically every poem has the bite of originality (TLS)
'Mackay Brown was a bardic, celebratory poet who swathed all that he wrote about in a kind of caul of sacredness' (Independent, Michael Glover)
'A must-have... [Mackay Brown] transforms the mundane with a luminous lyricism' (The Times, Rachel Campbell-Johnston)
'The work has both a severe beauty and mischievous wit' (The Sunday Times)
The poems of one of Scotland's finest poets collected in a single volume.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
His clear and detailed vision of the Orkney isles; the nature of land, sea and sky; the myths and spirituality; the island folk and their lives are all presented here in a crystal clear, spare yet intense style.
This volume has been compiled by those that knew and loved the man and his work, and the accompanying notes are a good read themselves.
Treat yourself to one of our greatest poets.
There's lots of recurring imagery in George Mackay Brown's work (seapink is one), and the imagery is so dense and rewarding that you really do need to step back to take it all in.
Many of Brown's best-known poems of course feature here, including the peerless 'Hamnavoe', but there are many, many other jewels. It's hard to credit that a single writer could have been master of such a vast catalogue of imagery, characters and incidents. He must have written every day and have honed his poems rigorously.
Another facet of this book that I wasn't expecting is the sheer range of Brown's style; compare, for example, the lyricism of 'Hamnavoe' with the prose poem 'King of Kings', a view of the nativity written from the perspective of the inkeeper in the form of a letter to the "Third Secretary (Security)". Thinking about that Bethlehem inn, its guests and visitors in such detail so vividly brings the scene to life that it reads like a historical document, whether or not you're a Christian.
Apart from 'Hamnavoe' my personal favourites include 'Fisherman and Boy', especially 'THE DRINKERS', 'Shipwreck' and 'Thorfinn', along with many other isolated lines, phrases and images.
There are a few printing anomalies, such as the occasional, apparently indiscriminate choice of quotation marks over italics and vice versa. However, that's more than made up for by typography and page breaks that rarely interrupt the look and flow of individual poems.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A collection of Poems by George Mackay Brown is one of my favorite books. I dip in and out of it all the time a constant on my bedside locker.Published on 5 Feb. 2014 by leeanne
Wonderful poems, drawing clear pictures of the area - really makes you want to go and experience the Orkneys for yourself.Published on 21 Aug. 2013 by Mrs. P. A. Porter
A wonderful collection of GMB's work over the span of his life. Gives a real feel for his work and the quantity and quality of it.Published on 11 July 2013 by Mrs. Evelyn A. Cruickshank
I had not encountered a great deal of Mackay Brown's poetry - only a few - and was familiar with his prose. I had no idea how substantial and how wonderful his poetic work was. Read morePublished on 3 April 2013 by Amazon Customer