Friday, 20 August 2010

R I P Edwin Morgan.....

.....who died yesterday at the grand old age of 90.

He had a life-long association with the University of Glasgow, where he finally became professor emeritus and where there is now an Edwin Morgan centre for Creative Writing.

I always think of him as the Scottish Poet Laureate - although maybe he would not have liked to be that anyway. One thing is for sure - I shall treasure my copy of his complete works more than ever now that I know his output of wonderful stuff is stilled for ever.

If you don't know his work (and nobody in my writing group had heard of him when I mentioned him (and I don't suppose he would have minded that either), then please - if you read nothing else read 'Strawberries' - one of the greatest love poems of the twentieth century in my view. And for one of the best nature poems ever written try 'Heron' - where in words and shape and crispness he has captured the heron to perfection.

Rest in peace Edwin Morgan - you have left behind a legacy that will give pleasure to many for as long as books exist.

14 comments:

mrsnesbitt said...

The beauty of google allowed me to look up the poem and indeed I agree, a wonderful love story.

Yes, we must have lunch Pat - will try to sort something for next week eh?

MorningAJ said...

There appears to be a shortage of his work online - I couldn't find the Heron. But I did find this: http://www.edwinmorgan.spl.org.uk/poems/loch_ness_monsters_song.html

Which is delightful!

MorningAJ said...

Not sure that last link will work. Try this

Derrick said...

Morning Weaver, Morgan was elected as the 'Scots Makar' by the new Scottish Parliament, which is the equivalent of the Laureate. Your readers may like to see this Guardian piece which also links to 'Strawberries'.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2010/aug/20/edwin-morgan-universal

Reader Wil said...

A wonderful ode to love, that's "Strawberries". One poem that really moves me...!
STRAWBERRIES

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

By Edwin Morgan

Bonnie said...

I will google Morgan and read the poems you suggested. It is a joy when blogging friends share their knowledge, and direct us to things as yet unknown. I'm off to find 'Strawberries'!

George said...

I'm not familiar with Morgan's work, but I read "Strawberries," which was generously quoted by Reader Wil in his comments, and it's truly wonderful! I'm sure he will be missed.

Heather said...

I hadn't heard of Edwin Morgan either Pat, but will look for his work.

Leilani Lee said...

Thanks for this Weaver. There is a lovely You-Tube video of people in Glasgow reciting "Strawberries" in lilting Scottish accent that is so gentle on the ear. I couldn't find "Heron" though.

Poet in Residence said...

Well done, Weaver!
I've put a link to Edwin Morgan at the Scottish Library on PiR. Some sample poems there under 'selected' including the one about the first Earthmen to visit Mercury.

the id code for this post is 'pargrank' a typical Morgan word if ever there was one

Eryl Shields said...

I only know his work slightly though what I've read I've liked. Now, thanks to you, I love Strawberries with its dark hints. Must find Heron.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

How lovely to be remembered fondly. Who wouldn't like a man who writes about strawberries. RIP indeed.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for joining in this celebration of the life of one of our greatest poets.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Makar rather than Poet Laureate up here, and I think Edwin Morgan was happy with that....

Brilliant poet, one of the best and he'll be much missed. There have been a lot of tearful farewells to him at recent poetry readings in Edinburgh