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Islander by Lynn Davidson

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"The title poem of Islander is an essential definition: not rooted in landlocked blood and soil but connected by sea and distance, and the returning tides of Scotland, the archipelagos of New Zealand and the islands of Oceania. Here is a poet never given to the common gestures of banal defiance but simply slipping away from the traps of rigidity and subscription, attuned to the ancient laws of movement and sensitive to the uncertainties, the vulnerable truths. 'Interislander' takes a specific urgency, a man suffering a heart attack on the ferry between New Zealand's north and south islands: practicalities and actions demanded of the moment are deftly depicted but the human place in our unfinished history is there between the sea beneath and the enveloping sky above. 'The Desert Road' crosses the country, mapped by co-ordinate points, listening as the darkness falls and languages come out in constellations, leading through the wilderness to strange, 'familiar places'. 'The inbreath' takes us to Ardbeg and another waterside with slipstreams and shipping lanes, snow in the mouth and Scotland as no more nor less than another harbour of perception. Lynn Davidson is a poet opening such perceptions and sensitivities, singular, sometimes wittily anecdotal, poised upon latent gravity, eluding both flippancy and weight in a collection that slows time and repays patience with tempered inductions to particular, opening perspectives." — Alan Riach



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