The poet Brian Kim Stefans, a favorite here at LH, has written a review of W.S. Graham’s New Collected Poems that makes me want to run out and buy it. I was not familiar with Graham, but this five-line snippet, all by itself, tells me I’m in the presence of a major talent:

I heard the telephone ringing deep
Down in a blue crevasse.
I did not answer it and could
Hardly bear to pass.

Read the longer excerpts quoted by Stefans and see what you think. (Warning: occasional use of Scots dialect. Also, there seems to have been an HTML glitch that caused a large chunk of the review to be repeated; when you finish the poem beginning “Who is that poor sea-scholar,” scroll down until you get past its second occurrence and begin reading at the next paragraph, “In general, Graham’s poems favor the cyclic over the linear…”)

(Via wood s lot, which I have to thank for pointing me to Stefans in the first place.)


  1. Graham is terrific. “What is the language using us for?” Just terrific. His letters, selected as “The Nightfisherman” were published by Carcanet a few years ago, and are well worth reading too if you can track down a copy.

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