Swithering - Robin Robertson


Picador, 2006
Harcourt Inc, New York, 2006
Anansi, Toronto, 2006
Guanda, Milan, 2008 (as Esitazione)

Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the Scottish Arts Council Poetry Award. Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

‘Superb…Swithering is a major piece of work.’
Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph

‘In a collection whose shifts in scale are breathtaking, within a consistent intimacy of tone, Robertson shows himself a master…the most rueful, melancholic and numinously painful poems I have read in a very long time.’
Tim Liardet, Poetry Review

‘Robin Robertson’s excellent collection Swithering has some heart-stopping poems.’
Sebastian Faulks, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year

‘Dizzying splendour…Here is a poet who has to be read slowly and with attention, for the flavour and detail of what he is exposing will not be understood at a casual glance. …After reading Robertson, one never sees common things in quite the same way again.’
Alison Prince, Herald

‘a collection of searingly beautiful lyrics about love and loss.’
Christina Patterson, Independent Books of the Year

‘Compellingly terse…Robertson portrays dramatic, threatening landscapes and seascapes from Scotland, Ireland and the north of England in gritty, tactile verse a bit like the young Heaney’s…Wringing grave warnings from confident descriptions, Robertson’s poems…render the world with force enough to make it ours.’
Stephen Burt, New York Times

‘What a marvel the volume is… Swithering displays admirably Robertson’s genius for exact and gorgeous imagery, his dazzling metaphorical gift, and the knottiness of his thinking which runs through the syntax like a bead of Metaphysical quicksilver. But it is above all his firm grasp of the way in which language works that gives his poetry its authority and classical poise. Few poets at work now have his unerring control of the line…the poems teem with images and metaphors that give the chime of a struck glass.’
John Banville, New York Review of Books