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February 16 , 2008

The Tip Of My Tongue


Robert Crawford's new collection is an exhilarating celebration of the world he lives in: his family, his fellow Scots, his country and his country's languages. Beginning with a group of moving, renewing love poems to his wife, the book builds into a polyphonic hymn to life in all its aspects.

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There is a powerful sense of communion and connection in The Tip of My Tongue: while singing the Scottish part of the planet, Crawford also embraces the rhythms of the whole circumference - from Perth, Scotland, to Perth, Australia - catching 'how Kincardineshire's sky's/Transvaalish, Budapesty, Santa Barbaran,/Zurich on a perfect day'.

These are poems that are convincingly earthed in the land and the language yet unafraid of spiritual, even religious notes; richly lyrical and passionate yet shot through with a humour and a vitality that is utterly engaging. As Liam McIlvanney wrote in the Sunday Herald, 'for intellectual range, emotional depth, and lexical shimmer, Crawford is unsurpassed among recent Scottish poets'.

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