The Gates of Light. James Aitchison Paperback ISBN 978-1-869848-07-1, £8.00. 21 March 2016.
The Gates of Light is a substantial collection of poems written
since 2009 by James Aitchison, author of New Guide to Poetry
and Poetics (Rodopi Editions, 2013), The Golden Harvester: the
Vision of Edwin Muir (Aberdeen University Press, 1988) and The
Cassell Dictionary of English Grammar (Cassell, 1996), as well as
five previous poetry collections.
James Aitchison’s vigorous poetic gifts light upon trees, birds and
wild animals with strong, unsentimental feeling and a beautifully
scientific veracity; his poems pinpoint social ills, confront searing
memories, and skilfully portray the challenges of old age, giving rueful,
gracious thanks to an enduring love.
Praise for James Aitchison’s previous poetry books:
“The measure is driven by natural speech cadence and yet it is artful, emotive
and memorable. It takes a lifetime of reflective practice to write as simply as
that. It is a joy to read.” Helena Nelson, The Dark Horse.
“...technically adroit, deeply felt, and artistically mature.” Donny O’Rourke,
“...with James Aitchison, there is always a sense of an intelligent and kindly
interlocutor.” Richard Price, PN Review.
“In this poet’s work two important things are immediately apparent – a properly
distanced compassion for people and almost everything which makes up the
natural world, and a respect for language ... In these good poems, feeling and
poetic skill are always linked together, and the whole book is not only finely
chiselled but a good augury...” Elizabeth Jennings, The Scotsman