George Mackay Brown lived and wrote in the Orkneys, the upper margin of Britain. With the publication of this remarkable volume he should never be marginalized again. These poems have been my constant companion for weeks. What I read in the morning stays with me all day - a phrase will insist itself on me, or a compelling image.To be fair, I have visited the Orkneys many times and perhaps for that reason can see the landscape into which he breathes such life. I know the history of the islands which he wonderfully evokes, especially its Norse heritage. Like Brown, I am a Catholic, thus his inner discourse of mystery and redemption has great resonance for me . I believe, though, that if I brought neither of these elements to the reading of his Collected Poems I would feel that I had stumbled on greatness. This is a major writer and one who has defined the poet's true task as 'the interrogation of silence'.