You can read this poem at www.donpaterson.com
About this poem
This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2009. Best Scottish Poems is an online publication, consisting of 20 poems chosen by a different editor each year, with comments by the editor and poets. It provides a personal overview of a year of Scottish poetry. The editor in 2009 was Andrew Greig.
Don Paterson is so good that, by-passing envy or despair, I just go straight to pleasure and joy that anything can be so good, so right. How can he write serious and profound, demanding and scarifying poetry in rhyming couplets? How can he pull the rug out from under us and the poem yet again? Formal virtuosity apart, the poem is earned. There is nothing he confronts us with that he has not already accused himself of – cleverness and heartlessness included. The whole collection is magnificent.