- Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: St Andrew Press (29 Jun. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0715207784
- ISBN-13: 978-0715207789
- Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Iona: Poems Paperback – 29 Jun 2000
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‘...an excellent collection … Steven has a talent for capturing the startling, original image … he is a fine, fine poet and his volume is highly recommended.’ (New Shetlander)
About the Author
Kenneth Steven lives in Dunkeld in Perthshire and is one of the UK’s most popular poets. He is also a highly successful broadcaster, featuring regularly on national radio. His BBC Radio 4 documentary on the island.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Steven's voice is still strong and apologetic. Young himself, he laments the passing of many of the old ways of the Hebrides and especially the dying of the Gaelic language (at least on Iona, where I don't believe anyone speaks it now; on Lewis and Harris, it is a different story)."The old ones read the land and the sea like books ;/They understood the skies, they listened to the rain,/ They did what the winter told them.//Now almost all of them have gone . . ." This sense of loss occurs several times, weaving a skein of lament throughout the book. One of the strongest-and simplest-poems, "Logie",mourns the death of one of the young men who drowned off Iona in 1998 when their dinghy capsized. Steven approaches this sideways, by way of a childhood memory, and there is no uncomfortable sense of ambulance-chasing and appropriation. There is an equally strong thread of celebration as Steven explores in beautifully-observed poems the lives of larks, the gymnastics of an otter, the birth of lambs in the winter, and the hospitality of the people themselves.
All this, this sense of tradition and history, this celebration of rootedness, makes Steven an unfashionable poet and simultaneously a popular one. No suburban ironies here, no poems as slick as TV advertisements. What also makes him unfashionable is that he is not afraid to mention God.Read more ›
Kenneth is now established as one of Scotlands leading poets so it no surprise that Iona is his best work to date. There is a new maturity in the construction which tugs on your own experience producing empathy for the creatures and environments he creates. This collection also examines, like the collections preceding it, the harm being done to the wild places for so long protected.
I cannot recommend this collection of poems highly enough. Suffice to say, if you only ever buy one collection of poems make it Iona by Kenneth C Steven.