The Early Days of a Better Nation

Friday, August 20, 2010

Edwin Morgan, 1920 - 2010

Yesterday I heard the sad news that Edwin Morgan had died. Douglas Gifford's obituary in The Scotsman is perhaps the most comprehensive of many that have appeared today; the most poignant, surely, is that in The Independent, by Angus Calder, another giant who himself passed away two years ago.

When I first met Edwin Morgan I told him of how I'd sat watching a documentary about his life, and enthusing to my wife about his poems on love, and it only slowly dawning on me as I watched what his own love was, and what I'd learned from that.

'It's the same emotion,' he said.


Interesting that you comment on the death of Edwin Morgan.

I suspect you would have equally interesting things to say about the almost simultaneous passing of his fellow Glaswegians Jimmy Reid and the Rev. Donald Maclean.

I haven't, as it happens. I don't have any personal reminiscences about either of them.

It would, however, be an interesting dinner party to sit round a table with these three men....

One of my favourite Muir lines is:
...our first kiss/was like the winter morning moon, and as you shifted in my arms/ it was the sea changing the shingle that changes it/ as if for ever....

Wonderful stuff! From 'The Unspoken"

Muir or Morgan?

Yes, it would be an interesting dinner party! John MacLeod wrote an admiring obituary of Donald MacLean here. He also incidentally has good things to say about your book in his recent 'Banner in the West', about the 'spiritual history of the Western Isles'.

Sorry, yes it's Morgan. I saw the Rev Donnie obits - and yes I did note his kind comments in 'Banner'. Have you read his account of the Iolaire tragedy?

No - I'll look out for it.

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