'Thrawn and dour" was how one of his primary teachers described Alastair Mackie to his parents.
'Thrawn and dour\" was how one of his primary teachers described Alastair Mackie to his parents.
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Review: James Robertson
In 1930s Aberdeen this was an observation, not a criticism. There is plenty of both thrawnness and dourness in this big volume, the testament of Mackie's lifelong labour in the field of poetry.
One of the characteristics of Mackie's work is a relentless concern to say what he means – and only that – and to do so without concession to passing fashion. As his father and grandfather, quarrymen both, worked and cut stone all their days, so Mackie (1925–1995) worked and cut words, mostly Scots ones, to build poems that are hard-edged, unsentimental, sometimes angry, often dark and always questioning. His rendition of the maxim associated with Occam's Razor as "Cut out the bloody bulls***", gives an indication of his attitude to life and to writing.
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