When Day Is Done

When Day Is Done
Sorrow remembers us when day is done.
It sits in its old chair gently rocking
and singing tenderly in the evening.
It welcomes us home again after the day.
It is so old in its black silken dress,
its stick beside it carved with legends. 
It tells its stories over and over again.
After a while we have to stop listening. 
Iain Crichton Smith

from New Collected Poems (Carcanet, 2011)

Reproduced by permission of Carcanet Press.
Iain Crichton Smith

Iain Crichton Smith was raised on Lewis and much of his poetry is grounded in the strict Presbyterian culture of the island, and his protest against it. He wrote both in Gaelic and English, novels and short fiction as well as many volumes of poetry. 'Am Faigh a Ghaidhlig Eas?'/'Shall gaelic die?' meditates on the fate of that language and culture. Crichton Smith wrote poems of lyrical candour and great human understanding, and poems that speculated on the course and meaning of human existence. 

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