|A First Sighting||A Turbulent Wake||The Guidman’s Daughter||The Hammer and the Fire|
|A Trail of Dreaming||Wayfarers|
‘Henry Marsh is one of the finest poets writing in Scotland today. His delicate, beautifully expressed verse has already achieved critical and popular acclaim. Whatever the topic of the poem, the voice is consistently wise, and gentle too; the effect is both subtle and moving.
The title of the
collection refers to a cycle of poems concerned with Mary, Queen
of Scots. It is impossible not to be intrigued by the life of this
tragic figure, and the poets observations, so skilfully wrought,
only add to the poignancy of her ill-fated tale.’
From reviews of The Guidman’s Daughter:
sequence in The Guidman’s Daughter is a work of really impressive
depth, compression, and power.’
‘The book has
touches of real brilliance…stamped with Marsh’s knack for seeking
out beauty of universal importance within the smallest of nature’s
offerings…The cycle of poems about the Queen (Mary, Queen of
Scots) is Marsh’s tour de force… at the end of this volume all
Scotland glitters under (his) touch.’
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Cover drawing by Kym Needle
Read poems and listen to readings from The Guidman’s Daughter in the poems section
Available directly from Birlinn Ltd for £10 including delivery. Birlinn page
Inside History: John Knox and Mary, Queen of Scots
24th November 2011, Scottish Storytelling Centre, John Knox House, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR. A one-off music and poetry event in the unique setting of the John Knox House as part of Scotland’s first history festival, Previously.
‘I remember standing on the remains of Fotheringhay Castle and suddenly being filled with great indignation – how dare they. Mary, Queen of Scots had been imprisoned in England for eighteen years before her execution in February 1587. At the age of 19, already the Dowager Queen of France, a Roman Catholic, she had returned to Scotland and stepped into the maelstrom of the Reformation. Her life was set on tragedy. After finishing a sequence of Mary poems, I was in St Giles and happened across the statue of John Knox. I was intrigued by the paradox – Knox had become a ‘graven image’ in the Kirk where he had preached so vehemently against idolatry.’
‘It has been a great joy, and a sort of privilege, to explore these extraordinary moments in Scottish history. When all is said and done, the protagonists were locked in a passionate debate about values that mirror, to some extent, the profound ideological conflicts of our own times.’
Henry Marsh, who read poems on Knox and Mary Queen of Scots from the collections Guidman’s Daughter (2009) and The Hammer and the Fire (2011).
© Henry Marsh 2008-2012