Get An Alastair Reid Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose PDF

By Alastair Reid

ISBN-10: 0874516927

ISBN-13: 9780874516920

ISBN-10: 0874516935

ISBN-13: 9780874516937

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Extra resources for An Alastair Reid Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose

Sample text

Jasper attended an international school in Cuernavaca, learning, it seemed to me, not much more than the Mexican national anthem, but that indelibly. We spent some time in Mexico City with the exiled Spanish writer Max Aub, an old mentor of mineand an inspiring presence, because he was forever inventing imaginary writers, writing their works, and then entering into controversy with them. Late in the year, we took a freighter from Tampico to Buenos Aires, stopping, apparently at the captain's whim, along the South American coast.

That summer, a man in Edinburgh said to me, "See you tomorrow, if we're spared," bringing me to a horrified standstill. '' declares drastically that nothing is right, nothing will ever be righta cry of doom. " The wariness is deep-rooted. I prize the encounter I once had with a local woman on the edge of St. Andrews, on a heady spring day. I exclaimed my pleasure in the day, at which she darkened and muttered, "We'll pay for it, we'll pay for it"a poem in itself. It was a day peculiar to this piece of the planet, when larks rose on long thin strings of singing and the air shifted with the shimmer of actual angels.

On Market Street, I went into a solicitor's office peopled by gnomes and crones, and found that a house I had long known by sight was for renta house called Pilmour Cottage, not a cottage at all but an expansive country house, standing all by itself, about a mile from the center of town, in a conspicuous clump of elm, oak, and sycamore trees, screened by an umbrella of resident crows, and facing the sea, some five hundred yards across the golf courses. It looked across at the estuary of the River Eden, on the other side of which lay Leuchars Aerodrome, where I had first taken flying lessons, with the University Air Squadron, during the war, and which had later gone from being a Royal Air Force fighter station to the strategic importance of an advanced NATO interceptor base, manned by Phantoms and Lightnings, and consequently, I imagined, a prime nuclear targetan irony sharp- Page 21 ened by those benign surroundings.

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An Alastair Reid Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose by Alastair Reid


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