‘David Scott belongs firmly to the long tradition of parson-poets that goes back at least as far as George Herbert… For all their reticence, there is a compassion in these poems and a sense of propriety’ – Norman Nicholson.
Springing from ordinary events, or a picture, or an aspect of the priestly life, David Scott’s beautifully restrained poems work up the detail into a moment of significance. They are rooted in an English culture which is found not only in locality, but also in understatement, and the sideways look. But his poetry has wider reverberations, exploring spirituality and ways of praying as well as momentary glimpses of meaning caught in everyday life.
David Scott won the National Poetry Competition in 1978, and this final retrospective drew on all the books he published, from A Quiet Gathering (1984) and Playing for England (1989) to Selected Poems (1998) and Piecing Together (2005), with the addition of a whole collection of new poems.
‘Anyone who reads his poetry now and in the future will find a living voice that speaks gently into the mystery of all our living, both here and hereafter.’ – Church Times, tribute to David Scott
‘With this volume, Beyond the Drift, David Scott has some claim to be the Church of England’s finest living poet.’ - Ronald Blythe, Church Times
'I have lived with this volume for the past month. It has become a treasure. I commend it highly...Here is a major talent, writing of the territory of faith and human experience with enquiry and mystery, with intelligence and honesty, with simplicity and profundity – above all, with the ability to put the right word in the right place' - The Rev Geoff Corne, Methodist Recorder [on Beyond the Drift].
'Scott is that much abused thing, a ‘national treasure’. Thus there is an Englishness about these poems which is defiantly not Little Englandism; Scott is ‘catholic’ in the original meaning of the term as ‘universal’. Perhaps there is another poet-priest waiting in the wings to take up the baton, but at the moment David Scott speaks with a quiet eloquence of which Herbert would have surely have approved' - Ian Pople, The Manchester Review [on Beyond the Drift].