The Colour of Black & White

The Colour of Black & White

The Colour of Black & White

The Colour of Black & White

Synopsis

The poems within this remarkable collection are often poems of love or death and iconic figures, Jungian archetypes, animus figures with strong outlines, harsh comfort and, often, voices of their own which dominate the first, the 'title', section of the book. Here you can find poems that are both autobiographical or entirely fictional set in Liz Lochhead's native rural/industrial Lanarkshire. There are also poems dedicated to other poets and a section of the rude and the rhyming, the out-loud, boldly revealing Lochhead's interest in 'unrespectable' poetry, in black prison 'toasts', in recitations, folk-poems and music hall monologues. The colour of both the black and the white. The collaboration with the printmaker Willie Rodger was also an essential part of the making of this book. Lochhead, long an admirer of Rodger's work, felt strongly that he was a kindred spirit and his poetically pared down and essential linocuts accentuate the positive and the negative, the black and the white.

Excerpt

How to exist
except
in a land of unreadable signs and ambiguous symbols
except
between the hache and the ampersand
except
between the ankh and the ziggurat
between the fylfot and the fleur de lys
between the cross and the crescent
between the twinned sigrunes and the swastika
or the sauvastika its mirror image, its opposite –
meaning darkness/light whichever –
with a blank page for a passport

except
under some flag
some bloody flag with a
crucially five
(or a six or a seven)
pointed star?

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