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Ian Hamilton Finlay: Selections

EDITED AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ALEC FINLAY
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Pages: 334
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt24hs2m
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  • Book Info
    Ian Hamilton Finlay
    Book Description:

    This volume surveys the life and work of the Scottish poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, who is best known for his extraordinary garden, Little Sparta, a unique “poem of place” in which poetry, sculpture, and horticulture intersect. This book directs sustained attention to Finlay the verbal artist, revealing the full breadth and richness of his poetics. It illuminates the evolution from his early years of composing plays, stories, and lyrical poems to his discovery of Concrete poetry and his emergence as a key figure in the international avant-garde of the 1960s.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95000-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xvi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  4. AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
    (pp. xix-xxi)
    Ian Hamilton Finlay
  5. INTRODUCTION: PICKING THE LAST WILD FLOWER
    (pp. 1-62)

    Standing on the edge of a heather moor where the Pentland Hills rise is a whinstone boulder with a single vein of quartz. This stone is a poem. Inscribed ‘CURFEW /curlew’, it invites us to hear the bird’s liquid call as it plies its oracular flight down to the valley below.¹ The transition of letters—inward folded ‘f’ for alert ‘l’—translates natural song into human alarm. As the evening shadows gather we slip into exile; the tocsin tolls and it is time we were safely home from the hill. Imaginatively we have entered Stonypath, Little Sparta, genius loci of...

  6. EARLY WRITINGS

    • POSTCARD FROM GLENLEDNOCH
      (pp. 65-65)
    • THE MONEY
      (pp. 66-74)

      At one period in my life, as a result of the poverty I was suffering, it became impossible for me to tell a lie. Consequently, I became the recipient of National Assistance money. But it all began when I applied for Unemployment Benefit money at the little Labour Exchange in the nearest town.

      As I entered the building, the typist turned to the clerk and I heard her whisper, ‘The artist is here again.’ No, she gave me a capital — ‘Artist’. The clerk rose, and, making no attempt to attend to me, crossed to the door marked ‘Welfare Officer’ and...

    • WALKING THROUGH SEAWEED
      (pp. 75-94)

      FIRST GIRL: See them toffee-apples in the window?

      SECOND GIRL: Yep.

      FIRST GIRL: Real old-fashioned they look. — Fancy toffee-apples . . .

      SECOND GIRL: You ever ate toffee-apples?

      FIRST GIRL: Yep. Sure we ate them. Lots of times. When I was wee we was great on toffee-apples. But I wouldn’t eat one now. It’d be undignified.

      SECOND GIRL: Maybe I could go in the shop and get one of them toffee-apples . . .

      FIRST GIRL: And eat it now — out here in the street? Not when you’re out withmeyou don’t eat a toffee-apple . . .

      SECOND...

    • from THE DANCERS INHERIT THE PARTY
      (pp. 95-117)
    • GLASGOW BEASTS, AN A BURD HAW, AN INSEKS, AN, AW, A FUSH
      (pp. 118-123)
    • VOYAGE
      (pp. 124-124)
    • FISHING FROM THE BACK OF ROUSAY
      (pp. 124-125)
    • ANOTHER HUGE POEM FOR HUGHIE
      (pp. 125-125)
    • BLOSSOM QUARRY, ROUSAY
      (pp. 126-126)
    • HOW TO BE HAPPY
      (pp. 126-126)
    • LUCY’S WEE BROTHER
      (pp. 127-127)
    • MY LITTLE BEAT MILL IN THE WEST
      (pp. 127-127)
    • POEM ON MY POEM ON HER AND THE HORSE
      (pp. 128-128)
    • SUCH IS THE WORLD
      (pp. 128-129)
    • LUCKY
      (pp. 129-129)
    • MIDHOPE (ALL GONE)
      (pp. 130-130)
    • DALCHONZIE
      (pp. 130-130)
    • THE POND OF OO (IN ORKNEY)
      (pp. 131-131)
    • NO THANK YOU, I CAN’T COME
      (pp. 132-132)
  7. LATER WRITINGS

    • CONCRETE, FAUVE, SUPREMATIST, SEQUENTIAL AND KINETIC POEMS
      (pp. 135-155)
    • ONE-WORD POEMS
      (pp. 156-159)
    • ONE-LINE POEMS AND MONOSTICH
      (pp. 160-163)
    • from DOMESTIC PENSÉES
      (pp. 164-169)
    • from A MAST OF HANKIES
      (pp. 170-178)
    • from DETACHED SENTENCES ON GARDENING
      (pp. 179-186)
    • from DETACHED SENTENCES ON THE PEBBLE
      (pp. 186-187)
    • from DETACHED SENTENCES ON EXILE
      (pp. 188-191)
    • from INTERPOLATIONS IN HEGEL
      (pp. 192-198)
    • from CAMOUFLAGE SENTENCES
      (pp. 198-202)
    • from TABLE TALK OF IAN HAMILTON FINLAY
      (pp. 202-206)
    • from DETACHED SENTENCES ON WEATHER IN THE MANNER OF WILLIAM SHENSTONE
      (pp. 206-221)
    • from THE IVORY FLUTE
      (pp. 222-229)
    • from ‘CLERIHEWS FOR LIBERALS’
      (pp. 229-230)
    • from PROVERBS FOR JACOBINS
      (pp. 231-232)
    • from DETACHED SENTENCES ON FRIENDSHIP
      (pp. 232-235)
    • from FLAKES
      (pp. 236-237)
    • from SPRING VERSES
      (pp. 237-243)
    • from GLIDER DAYS
      (pp. 244-245)
    • from NEW PROVERBS
      (pp. 246-246)
    • from A BOOK OF WILDFLOWERS
      (pp. 246-251)
    • from VARIATIONS
      (pp. 251-260)
  8. NOTES
    (pp. 261-300)
  9. A NOTE ON THE CRITICAL HERITAGE
    (pp. 301-304)
  10. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 305-308)
  11. CREDITS
    (pp. 309-310)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 311-311)