The Edinburgh Book of Twentieth-century Scottish Poetry
Selected for the pleasure and interest they offer these 400 or so poems from more than 150 poets span the entire century. While the major figures - MacDiarmid pre-eminently, and others such as Norman MacCaig, Iain Crichton Smith, and George Mackay Brown - are generously represented, there are many other voices, from the master balladeer of the Yukon, Robert Service, to the internationally-known psychiatrist R D Laing, the distinguished economist Sir Alec Cairncross, and the troubled but deeply eloquent Rayne Mackinnon.
Women are given due prominence. Readers unfamiliar with Helen Adam will experience a frisson at the sexual tensions of her ballad-poems while Naomi Mitchison reveals her intimate self. The admirable Marion Angus, Violet Jacob, and Helen B Cruickshank show their talents, while contemporary poets Liz Lochhead, Carol Ann Duffy, Janet Paisley, Jackie Kay, and many others, are well represented.
In a century of unprecedented change, the poems also act as a commentary on their times - and Scotland's war poets such as Charles Hamilton Sorley and Hamish Henderson, with their anger and eloquence, are included. With its lively engagement with the real world as well as the world of private creativity, this anthology will contribute to an ongoing sense of Scottish cultural identity.