On the brink of the referendum on independence, the first collection in six years from this major Scottish poet
To make a testament is to attempt to pass on what matters most. In his seventh full-length collection of poems Robert Crawford writes of love, loss, belief, and commitment. Whether in intimate erotic lyrics or in a sustained engagement with the politics of Scottish independence he writes with passion, wit, and assurance about struggles to pass on values and treasures. The book opens with a sequence of love poems, and closes with ‘Testament’, a startlingly fresh gathering of deftly rhymed paraphrases based on the New Testament. Whether making versions of Cavafy or elegising fellow poet Mick Imlah, or writing how a father hands on a piece of marble to his son, Robert Crawford shows in Testament how poetry can communicate from generation to generation aspects of what makes us most vulnerably and engagingly human.
“Crawford’s poetic voice has a calm lucidity, never ostentatious or wilfully obscure… Poets are better with metaphors than politicians.”
Sarah Mansfield, Scotland on Sunday