Posted From: 126.96.36.199
|Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 09:39 pm: |
The poet Edwin Morgan has just died at the age of ninety, following a bout of pneumonia. He had been seriously ill for years, but carried on producing great work. His poetry – exemplified by the collection From Glasgow to Saturn (1973) was versatile and breathtakingly intense, encompassing political anger, eroticism, science fiction, social observation and literary fantasy. My favourite Morgan quote is from his poem 'Grendel':
It is being nearly human
gives me this spectacular darkness.
The light does not know what to do with me.
Morgan was a major poet, but there was no pomposity or self-regard about him. He was a shy man who let his work speak for itself. And it did. He spoke of the loneliness and violence of city life, the dark energy of human passion, the unfulfilled potential of the future. Like Auden and Neruda, he tried to write poetry worthy of humanity rather than declaring humanity to be unworthy of poetry.
One more quote, from Morgan's brilliant sequence 'Glasgow Sonnets':
...No deliverer ever rose
from these stone tombs to get the hell they made
unmade. The same weans never make the grade.
The same grey street sends back the ball it throws.
Posted From: 188.8.131.52
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 02:14 am: |
Never heard of him, Joel! I will have to check him out.
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 07:39 am: |
Yes. I'll check him out, too.
I'm rather looking forward to your poetry collection coming out later this year, Joel. Does it have a title yet?
Posted From: 220.127.116.11
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 09:04 am: |
Morgan's early collections are out of print but his Selected Poems and a massive Collected Poems are available. Of his recent books I'd recommend Sweeping Out the Dark, Cathures and A Book of Lives.
Landmark Morgan poems include 'The Second Life', 'Glasgow Green', 'Stobhill', 'Glasgow Sonnets', 'Grendel', 'Migraine Attack', 'The Break-in', 'Eros' and the sequence 'From the Video Box'.
Ally, I'll e-mail you – wouldn't feel right to be talking about my work in this thread. Though Morgan is a big influence.
Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Posted From: 18.104.22.168
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 11:52 am: |
Commiserations on the death of your hero, Joel.
I never heard of him but the lines you quoted above speak volumes.
Posted From: 22.214.171.124
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 11:55 am: |
I'm ashamed to say that I've never heard of him, either. RIP. I'll certainly be trying the man's work.
Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 01:10 pm: |
But what an age and what an achievement, Joel!
Posted From: 188.8.131.52
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 01:44 pm: |
Absolutely, Ramsey – and Morgan didn't really find his voice as a poet until he was forty. Hence the poem 'The Second Life'. Then there was a third life after his retirement from Stirling University. He never lost his appetite for life, ideas, language and the future. Though when he was down – as in his poem 'A Black Dog Day' – you knew about it.
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Friday, August 20, 2010 - 01:59 pm: |
I've just ordered a copy of his Selected Poems. The above extracts are so good that I simply had to.