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SWIFT, by Jock Stein 978-1-912052 £5 210mm x 140mm 32pp
The author is a poet, piper and preacher from East Lothian, and currently convener of Tyne and Esk Writers. In contrast to his first book of poems, which touched on politics and economics, these poems are about gardens, mountains and travel. Russell Jones enthuses:
“Jock Stein’s poems gleefully build their own music, whispering melodies as you explore woodlands and mountains, trains and traffic jams . . .”
Christine De Luca, erstwhile Edinburgh Makar, says a little more soberly,
“Swift is a well-ordered collection of poems, in which Stein explores his delight in the natural world and its interactions with the human journey” and cites a poem inspired by Stanza 2017:
Words pass through grit and grey, dance off
a grand chain with some misty faith posts,
straighten up our poetry to human height,
eternity a scree run for another day.
And Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, editor of London Grip, says:
“The poems in Swift are packed with vivid language and carefully shaped around witty and artful rhymes . . .”