Springing from ordinary events, or a picture, or an aspect of the priestly life, David Scott’s beautifully restrained poems work up the detail into a moment of significance. They are rooted in an English culture which is found not only in locality, but also in understatement, and the sideways look. But his poetry has wider reverberations, exploring spirituality and ways of praying as well as momentary glimpses of meaning caught in everyday life.
David Scott won the National Poetry Competition in 1978, and this new retrospective draws on all the books he has published since then, from A Quiet Gathering (1984) and Playing for England (1989) to Selected Poems (1998) and Piecing Together (2005), with the addition of a whole collection of new poems.
‘He is interested in the humble epiphanies associated with weathered objects and places: he seizes on the apparently insignificant but his sensual expansions are religious in tone. Quietly Scott’s poems look out beyond themselves’ – George Szirtes, Critical Quarterly.
‘David Scott writes poems plain as pleasure: a pleasure in perception of the world, a pleasure in being human… There is one poem in this fine collection that really lets all the weather in, the epic and panoptic “Skelling Michael: A Pilgrimage”…the terrors of faith are made real and electric but, importantly, they are made human’ – David Morley, PN Review.