One of my favourite poets died this week aged 90.
He was a Glaswegian, like me, and I met him once or twice in The Ubiquitous Chip (or so said the old man with a wicked sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye...). I have the fondest memories of learning his work, including the following poem whilst still at school...one of my all time favourites...from the Glasgow Sonnets:
A mean wind wanders through the backcourt trash.
Hackles on puddles rise, old mattresses
puff briefly and subside. Play-fortresses
of brick and bric-a-brac spill out some ash.
Four storeys have no windows left to smash,
but the fifth a chipped sill buttresses
mother and daughter the last mistresses
of that black block condemned to stand, not crash.
Around them the cracks deepen, the rats crawl.
The kettle whimpers on a crazy hob.
Roses of mould grow from ceiling to wall.
The man lies late since he has lost his job,
smokes on one elbow, letting his coughs fall
thinly into an air too poor to rob.
RIP Edwin Morgan. I think of you, as Carol Ann Duffy said, with love and gratitude.