Jimmy Crighton, who I counted as a friend, was that rare combination, a lovely man and a fine poet, engaged with the world, not with himself. This posthumous collection exemplifies both qualities: the man shines through in the inside cover photograph, the poet by way of the usual evidence. He always seemed to me an instinctive writer, rather than a crafter, so content dominates form, the poems largely following the impulse and taking their own course. Incidental, rather than programmed, they range from love poems to his wife, Beth - 'Arpeggios drift from the next room, / Fingers, lips, tongue, spirit / shaped them. I They shape also my loving' - FLUTE PRACTICE, to spiky Scots dialect - 'Dinnae fash tae speir I fit wy orra loons can breenge / in a driech deid land' (Don't bother to ask I how ordinary lads can make their way I in a dry dead land) from FIVE SCOTTISH HAIKUS. The predominant tone, however, is gentle and reflective, as in his fine sonnet SPIRAEA 'FIRELIGHT', about his own impending death '....Your dying leaf, I fading like firelight. / sheds not grief, / but warmth, into the long night' Just as you did, Jimmy.
Paul Lee in The Journal #11, Summer 2004
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