Edwin Muir Selected Poems

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ISBN 9780571235476 Format Paperback
9780571235476
Paperback
Published 15/05/2008 Length 112 pages
112

About Book

Born on the Orkney island of Wyre in 1887, Edwin Muir settled in various parts of Europe during the first half of the twentieth century - from Glasgow, to Austria and Czechoslovakia throughout to 1920s, 1930s and again after the war. Muir's poetry bears oblique witness to the most traumatic years and events of this century, and is haunted by the symbolic 'fable' which he longed to find beneath the surface 'story' of mere events, as he came to terms with his own nature amidst the terror and confusion of the European maelstrom. As Seamus Heaney has written: 'Muir's poetic strength revealed itself in being able to co-ordinate the nightmare of history with that place in himself where he had trembled with
anticipation . . . His simultaneous at-homeness and abroadness is exemplary.'

Born on the Orkney island of Wyre in 1887, Edwin Muir settled in various parts of Europe during the first half of the twentieth century - from Glasgow, to Austria and Czechoslovakia throughout to 1920s, 1930s and again after the war. Muir's poetry bears oblique witness to the most traumatic years and events of this century, and is haunted by the symbolic 'fable' which he longed to find beneath the surface 'story' of mere events, as he came to terms with his own nature amidst the terror and confusion of the European maelstrom. As Seamus Heaney has written: 'Muir's poetic strength revealed itself in being able to co-ordinate the nightmare of history with that place in himself where he had trembled with anticipation . . . His simultaneous at-homeness and abroadness is exemplary.'
  • About Edwin Muir

    Born in the Orkney island of Wyre in 1887, Edwin Muir spent his first years in the idyllic setting of his father's farm, until the family were forced by rising rents to move to Orkney's mainland, and then, in 1901, to Glasgow. Muir worked in a number of menial jobs and became engaged in left-wing politics. Through the 1920s and 1930s, and again after the war, he lived in various European cities, notably Dresden and Prague, following the developments in literature there, and producing, with his wife Willa, the first translations into English of Franz Kafka. Most of his best poetry was written after the age of fifty. He died in Cambridge in 1959.

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  • Edited By: Mick Imlah

    Mick Imlah was born in 1956 and brought up near Glasgow and in Kent. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he taught as a Junior Fellow. He was editor of Poetry Review from 1983 to 1986, and worked at the Times Literary Supplement from 1992. His poems appeared in The Zoologist's Bath (1982), Birthmarks (1988), Penguin New Poets 3 (1994) and Diehard (2006). He edited The New Penguin Book of Scottish Verse (with Robert Crawford, 2000) and made selections for Faber of the poems of Tennyson and Edwin Muir. He died in 2009.

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