Introduced by Alexander Scott. William Soutar was one of the greatest Scots poets of his generation. Tragically he was confined to his bed with a crippling illness for the last fourteen years of his life. During these years, Soutar kept a day-by-day record of his experiences and observations-personal, literary, and philosophical. Each page is written with striking bravery and determination, providing a unique glimpse into the life of this good-humoured man, dedicated to his art. This is a book written in the face of death but inspired by an unsentimental love of life.
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William Soutar (1898- 1943) was born and educated in Perth. He spent his war service with the Royal Navy from 1916 to 1919, and then went on to Edinburgh University to complete his education. Enrolled as a medical student, Soutar soon transferred to English Literature and graduated in 1923. A verse collection, Gleanings by an Undergraduate, was published anonymously at this time. Suffering from a progressive disease of the spine, Soutar returned to his parent's house in Perth to take up what amounted to a lifetime of private study, and by 1930 he was permanently confined to bed. He produced several volumes of poems in English in the following fourteen years, but by this time Soutar was also experimenting with Scots, and 'bairn-rhymes' in particular. His first poems in this mode were published as Seeds in The Wind(1933), with Poems in Scots in 1935 and Riddles in Scots in 1937. The most complete collection of his work can be found in Poems of William Soutar: A New Selection, (ed W.R. Aitken, Scottish Academic Press, 1988). A lively succession of friends, artists and writers came to visit Soutar in his bedroom. He recorded these events, along with his own thoughts, political views, dreams and creative processes in his diary, his journal, a dream book, a common-day book and, at the very end of his life, a record which he called The Diary of a Dying Man.
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Book Description Canongate, 2000 9780862413477, 2000. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. NEW paperback. 184 pages. Introduction by Alexander Scott. First published in 1954, ten years after the author's death, this is a wonderful testament to the human spirit.William Soutar was born and educated in Perth, in Scotland. At the age of 32, he became permanently confined to bed due to a progressive disease of the spine. From here, he produced some of the best poetry in Scots and English of his generation, and entertained a lively succession of friends, artists and writers. He recorded all this in his diaries and journals and, finally, in a record that he called The Diary of a Dying Man. He died in 1943 after 14 years of confinement.On 31st August 1939, on the eve of war, he wrote: "Learned from the air this morning that Germany had invaded Poland at dawn - already many cities are suffering bombardment; the first bomb fell among civilians hours ago. Now we await our own evacuees and the first intimation that the first bomb has fallen upon London. The greatest catastrophe which has erupted in the world is already a fact although the oncoming surge of it has not as yet broken over us. Outside in the overcast day, the familiar sounds rise up through the quiet. Children are at play nearby, a tradesman's bell is ringing, someone rattles a pail. And in the garden the autumnal beauty still lingers, halted at this hour in stillness - scarcely a leaf moves on the sycamore tree, under the dark green of the hawthorn are still the blue and yellow blooms, a bird skims silently across the smooth stretch of grass. The peace which we have broken so barbarously abides here for yet another day".But usually an entry was more focussed on the small and the personal: "Miss Young called: being an Auld Licht and an old maid - we couldn't get past the Kirk. Now if one could walk abroad and stop to have a talk with scavengers, bargees, tramps and any chance traveller - talk might become a minor adventure; but as I am - placed here - all talk is limited, practically, to a coterie of drably respectable minds".Harold Niclson called it "a brave and animating book" and Alan Taylor, co-editor of The Assassin's Cloak, wrote that "among the world's great diarists William Soutar is in the first rank". Bookseller Inventory # 396
Book Description Canongate Books Ltd, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110862413478
Book Description Canongate Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0862413478 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.2052013
Book Description Canongate Books, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0862413478
Book Description Canongate Classics, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 184 pages. 8.00x5.25x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0862413478