Book Fair




  • William Soutar, Flowers of Life: A Selection of Cinquains, edited by Brian Strand. Q.Q.Press, York House, 15 Argyle Terrace, Rothesay, Isle of Butte, PA20 0BD, Scotland, U.K., ISBN 1-9032030-473, card covers, 32 pp., £5.00.

Title Page:



To those who know Soutar from his scarce published poems and Joy Hendry’s Gang Doun wi a Sang (diehard drama), this simple and sensibly produced 32 page booklet is a real surprise. Soutar wrote cinquains! In pure, beautiful English too! (He has been typecast as a somewhat whimsical Scots poet). I’m still rather a beginner in haiku related forms, but these look to me like really good cinquains, each one titled, readable, sometimes proverblike or prayerlike, often religious. Many contain similes; the ‘as’ word is frequent. There are about 125 cinquains here, carefully selected, and published with permission from the National Library of Scotland, who are the owners of the copyright.  . . .Brian Strand has done a wonderful job. He lives in Buckinghamshire, which one would not think a convenient place from which to conduct this work. Brian has come to Soutar from the Cinquain and religious background and has been in contact with the Cinquain Journal and other American sources of this short form.  Highly recommended.

“The reader, however, should have no trepidation about the pleasant and entertaining short poems in this book, which are written, have no fear, in English all the way. The poems in the main text of the pamphlet are well chosen if printed closely packed, usually five cinquains to a page.  Christopher T. George




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