The poet Edwin Morgan died today at the age of 90.
I had never heard of Edwin Morgan until 2002 when he collaborated with the band Idlewild on the final track of their album The Remote Part. The song is titled “In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction” and Edwin Morgan wrote and recorded his poem “Scottish Fiction” for use on the track. The poem below is copyright the author and taken from HERE.
It isn’t in the mirror
It isn’t on the page
It’s a red-hearted vibration
Pushing through the walls
Of dark imagination
Finding no equation
There’s a Red Road rage
But it’s not road rage
It’s asylum seekers engulfed by a grudge
It isn’t in the castle
It isn’t in the mist
It’s a calling of the waters
As they break to show
The new Black Death
With reactors aglow
Do you think your security
Can keep you in purity
You will not shake us off above or below
I have been a fan ever since, especially after moving to Scotland. His contributions to Scottish literature are immeasurable and he will be sorely missed by many friends and fans.
A seagull stood on my window-ledge today,
said nothing, but had a good look inside.
That was a cold inspection I can tell you!
North winds, icebergs, flash of salt
crashed through the glass without a sound.
He shifted from leg to leg, swivelled his head.
There was not a fish in the house–only me.
Did he smell my flesh, that white one? Did he think
I would soon open the window and scatter bread?
Calculation in those eyes is quick.
`I tell you, my chick, there is food everywhere.’
He eyed my furniture, my plants, an apple.
Perhaps he was a mutation, a supergull.
Perhaps he was, instead, a visitation
which only used that tight firm forward body
to bring the waste and dread of open waters,
foundered voyages, matchless predators,
into a dry room. I knew nothing.
I moved; I moved an arm. When the thing saw
the shadow of that, it suddenly flapped,
scuttered claws along the sill, and was off,
silent still. Who would be next for those eyes,
I wondered, and were they ready, and in order?
And below, my favourite Edwin Morgan poem.
The Loch Ness Monster’s Song
Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnfl hfl?
Gdroblboblhobngbl gbl gl g g g g glbgl.
Drublhaflablhaflubhafgabhaflhafl fl fl –
gm grawwwww grf grawf awfgm graw gm.
Hovoplodok – doplodovok – plovodokot – doplodokosh?
Splgraw fok fok splgrafhatchgabrlgabrl fok splfok!
Zgra kra gka fok!
Grof grawff gahf?
Gombl mbl bl –
Listen to Edwin Morgan read “The Loch Ness Monster’s Song” HERE. It’s absolutely wonderful.
Both above poems are copyright the author and were taken from The Poetry Archive.