“This is, quite simply, a marvellous book. The poems are subtle, profound, disturbing, elegant, challenging, and lambent with intelligence and compassion. The portrait of T.E. Lawrence which emerges is arresting and credible.”
– Malahat Review
“…the Lawrence Poems enhance MacEwen’s already considerable reputation.”
– Sunday Star
“Gwendolyn MacEwen succeeds in penetrating a mind other than her own…Is this portrait of Lawrence ‘true’ or has she added some ‘shirt sleeves’ here and subracted some ‘oysters’ there? The whole tale is so enticing that the reader does not really care.”
– Antigonish Review
The T.E. Lawrence Poems is Gwendolyn MacEwen’s most integrated, complete and respected work. It is now recognized as her signature poetic achievement.
“In 1962, I was staying in a hotel in Tiberias, Israel; the tall, white-haired proprietor invited me downstairs one evening and served me syrupy tea and a plate of fruit. He showed me a series of old sepiatone photographs which lined the walls – photographs of blurred riders on camels riding to the left into some uncharted desert just beyond the door. Some of them were signed.
‘It’s Lawrence isn’t it?’ I asked, walking up to one.
‘Yes,’ said my host, offering me a huge section of an orange. ‘I rode with him once a long time ago. I see you always carry a pen and paper to write things down. I thought you’d be interested; I thought you’d like to know.’
These poems were written some twenty years later.”
– From the Foreword by Gwendolyn MacEwen
Gwendolyn MacEwen was one of Canada’s greatest poets. She won the Governor General’s Award and the A.J.M. Smith Poetry Award. Her work is internationally recognized and admired. She wrote poetry, fiction, plays, verse drama and documentaries for radio.