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Claiming Kindred

by D. M. Black

Claiming Kindred is the Scottish poet D. M. Black's first full collection since the publication of his Collected Poems 1964-87 nearly twenty years ago. He published widely in the 1960s and 1970s, including a volume in the first Penguin Modern Poets series (with Peter Redgrove and D. M. Thomas). In this new collection he uses a variety of poetic forms, both strict and 'free', in an attempt to convey the immediacy of emotional experience. The psychological intensity of his earlier narrative work remains, but is now clearly placed in the context of a life lived in specific places and in particular relationships. The idea that the poet is 'claiming kindred' with all he writes about is borrowed from Richard Wilbur: the title sets out to capture the underlying intent uniting these diverse poems...

The outlook is broad and the insights are penetrating, as D. M. Black surveys the world in front of him and the past behind him. He contrives to give both 'simple fact' and 'mystery' their due worth, in poems that are as finely attuned to the inscrutable and numinous in nature as they are to the quirks and fallibilities of the human heart. The result is a book of surprising affirmation: a sort of secular Benedicite, Omnia Opera that is wise, compassionate, distinctively voiced and deeply attractive.

Christopher Reid

978-1906570-46-0 (pbk)
978-1906570-47-7 (hbk)

Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
Pages: 88
Published February 2011

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