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Monday, November 14, 2016

Being understood tops the writer's list


“Anybody who writes doesn't like to be misunderstood.” – Norman MacCaig

Born on this date in 1910, MacCaig was a highly regarded teacher and poet whose writing was known for its humor, simplicity of language and (he would like this) easy understandability.

But, he didn’t start that way.  His first book, Far Cry, published in 1943, was considered difficult to read.  He listened to critics, changed his writing and went to more traditional rhyming and free verse styles that were lucid, clear-cut and filled with humor.

At the time of his death in 1996, fellow writer Ted Hughes wrote about MacCaig that, “Whenever I meet his poems, I'm always struck by their undated freshness, everything about them is alive, as new and essential, as ever.”  For enjoyable poetic reads that cover his 5 decades of writing, check out his books A Common Grace, A Man in My Position, and Ordinary Day, each presenting delightful offerings of daily life, people and the world.
“All I write about is what's happened to me                           
 and to people I know,” MacCaig wrote upon receiving The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1986.  “The better I know them, the more likely they are to be written about.”  


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