Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems

Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems

by Robin Robertson


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A selection of poems spanning the career of a poet of the uncanny

Filled with haunting and visionary poems, Sailing the Forest is a selection of the finest work from an essential voice in contemporary poetry. Robin Robertson's deceptively spare and mythically charged work is beautifully brutal, ancient and immediate, and capable of instilling menace and awe into our everyday landscape. These are poems drawn in shadow, tinged with salt and blood, that disarm the reader with their precise language and dreamlike illuminations. Robertson's unique world is a place of forked storms where "Rain . . . is silence turned up high" and we can see "the hay marry the fire / and the fire walk."

Through five extraordinary collections, Robertson has captured the intangible, illusory world in razor-sharp language. "The genius of this Scots poet is for finding the sensually charged moment—in a raked northern seascape, in a sexual or gustatory encounter—and depicting it in language that is simultaneously spare and ample, and reminiscent of early Heaney or Hughes" (The New Yorker). Sailing the Forest reveals a wild-hearted poet at the height of his talents.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374535728
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 771,146
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Robin Robertson is from the northeast coast of Scotland. He has published five collections of poetry—most recently Hill of Doors—and has received numerous accolades, including the Petrarca Prize, the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and all three Forward Prizes. In 2006 he published The Deleted World, a selection of English versions of poems by Tomas Tranströmer, and has since translated two plays by Euripides, Medea and The Bacchae.

Table of Contents

From A Painted Field (1997)

New Gravity 1

Three Ways of Looking at God 2

Advent in Co. Fermanagh 3

Static 6

Sheela-na-Gig 7

The Flaying of Marsyas 8

Aberdeen 12

Pibroch 13

Fireworks 14

Jack-in-the-Green 16

Hands of a Farmer in Co. Tyrone 17

Moving House 18

Artichoke 20

Silver Lake, Vermont 21

The Immoralist 22

Shot 24

The Flowers of the Forest 25

Six Views from the Camera Obscura 26

FROM Slow Air (2002)

Apart 28

Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter 29

The Language of Birds 30

Maroon, Over Black on Red 32

March, Lewisboro 34

Break 40

Exposure 41

False Spring 42

Dream of the Huntress 43

The Thermal Image 44

The Long Home 46

Sorrows 48

Waves 50

Hide 51

Asterion and the God 52

Fall 55

From Swithering (2006)

The Park Drunk 56

At Dawn 57

What the Horses See at Night 58

Trysts 60

Primavera 61

The Death of Actaeon 62

Swimming in the Woods 68

Ghost of a Garden 69

Selkie 70

Wormwood 71

The Glair 72

Heel of Bread 73

New York Spring 74

Myth 75

The Lake at Dusk 76

A Seagull Murmur 78

Actaeon: The Early Years 79

Leavings 84

Donegal 85

La Stanza delle Mosche 86

Lizard 87

Crossing the Archipelago 88

Rainmaker 89

Holding Proteus 90

Trumpeter Swan 92

From The Wrecking Light (2010)

Album 93

Signs on a White Field 94

By Clachan Bridge 96

The Plague Year 98

Tulips 102

Wonderland 103

The Tweed 104

About Time 105

Cat, Failing 106

A Gift 107

Strindberg in Berlin 108

Venery 110

My Girls 111

Leaving St Kilda 112

Law of the Island 117

Tinsel 118

Lesson 119

The Wood of Lost Things 120

Middle Watch, Hammersmith 123

Beginning to Green 124

Easter, Liguria 125

Widow's Walk 126

Diving 128

Abandon 130

Hammersmith Winter 131

At Roane Head 132

From Hill of Doors (2013)

Annunciation 135

The Coming God 136

A Childhood 138

1964 139

Under Beinn Ruadhainn 142

Corryvreckan 144

A Quick Death 146

Dionysus in Love 148

The Fishermen's Farewell 155

The Halving 156

The Ghost of Actaeon 158

A & E 159

Falconer's Farewell 160

Strindberg in Skovlyst 161

The Cave of Sleep 166

Dionysus and the Maiden 168

The Shelter 171

Party time 172

Punchinello's Farewell 174

The House of Rumour 176

The God Who Disappears 178

Finding the Keys 180

Crimond 182

Glass of Water and Coffee Pot 183

Port na h-Abhainne 184

The Key 185

Notes & Acknowledgements 188

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