Edwin George Morgan was a Scottish poet and translator who was associated with the Scottish Renaissance. He is widely recognised as one of the foremost Scottish poets of the 20th century. In 1999, Morgan was made the first Glasgow Poet Laureate. In 2004, he was named as the first Scottish national poet: The Scots Makar.
Life and Career
Morgan was born in Glasgow and grew up in Rutherglen. His parents were Presbyterian. As a child he was not surrounded by books, nor did he have any literary acquaintances. Schoolmates labelled him a swot. He convinced his parents to finance his membership of several book clubs in Glasgow. The Faber Book of Modern Verse (1936) was a ... more »
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Edwin Morgan Poems
No smoke without you, my fire. After you left, your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
There were never strawberries like the ones we had that sultry afternoon sitting on the step
My shadow -- I woke to a wind swirling the curtains light and dark and the birds twittering on the roofs, I lay cold in the early light in my room high over London.
At ten I read Mayakovsky had died, learned my first word of Russian, lyublyu; watched my English teacher poke his earwax with a well-chewed HB and get the class
The First Men on Mercury
– We come in peace from the third planet. Would you take us to your leader? – Bawr stretter! Bawr. Bawr. Stretterhawl?
Push the boat out, compañeros, push the boat out, whatever the sea. Who says we cannot guide ourselves through the boiling reefs, black as they are,
A Little Catechism From The Demon
What is a demon? Study my life. What is a mountain? Set out now. What is fire? It is for ever. What is my life? A fall, a call.
'A man's a man for a' that' – how does he know? Traipsing with his plough, the rural hero, Swaggering down the lea-rigs, talking to mice, Sweating his sickly verses to entice
Comments about Edwin Morgan
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
No smoke without you, my fire.
After you left,
your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray
and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal
of so much love. One cigarette
in the non-smoker's tray.
As the last spire
trembles up, a sudden draught
blows it winding into my face.
Is it smell, is it taste?
You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips.
Out with the light.
Let the smoke lie back in the dark.
Till I hear the very ash
sigh down among the flowers of brass
I'll breathe, and long past ...