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SCOTNOTES Study Guides

The Poetry of

John Blackburn

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1993
Price: £5.95
ISBN 978-0-948877-21-6

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Iain Crichton Smith was one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, writing in English and Gaelic. His poetry often concerns itself with unsentimental views of life in the Western Highlands and Islands, and his dislike of, and opposition to, dogmatic authority.

John Blackburn’s Scotnote analyses the religious, political and historical themes and patterns of Crichton Smith’s work, and is a suitable guide for senior school pupils and students at all levels.


  • The dedicated spirits: the poet’s purpose
  • North and South
  • The Law and the Grace
  • Isolation
  • Death
  • The dark themes and The Old Woman
  • The Rose – and The Village and Other Poems
  • Notes
  • Bibliography


Also available: ASLS audio CDs

15 Poems of Iain Crichton Smith
A Commentary

Readings by Iain Crichton Smith, with commentary by John Blackburn
This double CD covers the major themes of Iain Crichton SmithÕs career: the struggle between light and dark and his ambivalent attitude towards religion, sometimes oppressive, sometimes full of grace.

CD: £14.95

Last updated 19 October 2010.