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MacDiarmid wrote some of the most pellucid, charming and lilting lyrics in Scots and was probably the finest writer of the living, integrally sensuous iambic pentamer stanza since Arnold. (A dip into 'North of the Tweed' in _To Circumjack Cencrastus_ will confirm this). Five years or so into a forty-plus year poetic career, he rejected his gifts to pen a series of fiercely doctrinaire, verbally knotty paeans to Lenin and Communism. Though from the Borders, he imbibes fully--though not uncritical ...more
For me, it was like reading Bukowski in Scots dialect. Nothing against the form or style or even the dialect (one which is becoming more familiar), but this collection didn't really do that much for me. Some of the poems seemed really contrived. Some of them just seemed to drag on and on like drunken ramblings. It was satisfying to say I read it, but this isn't one I'll be revisiting.