This month saw the publication of my latest book of poetry This Much Endures.
Kennedy & Boyd have made a really beautiful job if it. The cover features a little marble boat I made from Skye marble for my daughter’s birthday. There is a poem to match it. Fiona Stafford of Somerville College, Oxford, wrote the introduction. Here are two quotations from it:
“The celebratory tone of so many of John Purser’s poems is set against the profound bleakness of others. The volume’s overall truth derives as much from the poet’s understanding of the pain and injustice of the world as from his recognition of what helps to combat the darkness.”
“From first to last, the voice of the poems speaks with the economy of tested truth: utterly assured, utterly convincing.”
Besides the poetry book, a piece I wrote for solo recorder received its world premiere in The Red House – Benjamin Britten’s home in Aldeburgh – as part of the Alwyn Music Festival. The recorderist John Turner was the commissioner and performer. I wrote the piece at his request and it is dedicated to him. It’s called Skye Blue and is as happy as the title may suggest. My son reminds me that Blue = Blues – but not here on Skye after a glorious summer with blue skies for weeks. Skye Blue is being published by Forsyth of Manchester and it’s also out on CD Hat Box Primafacie PFCD166 Track 12, in lots of good company. It’s that rare thing these days, a CD full of fun and entertainment and totally unpretentious, all expertly played.
News on the croft is that the cattle are back in from the common grazing and the hay has arrived from the east of Scotland in small ‘square’ bales, easy to manage. We start feeding in January unless the weather is really bad. We had been catching crab, mackerel and the occasional lobster, but it’s now too cold to be out in an open boat, so we have brought the pots in and stowed the boat here on the croft.
John Purser is widely known as a composer, musicologist, poet, playwright, and broadcaster.