Windows in the West. Edwin Morgan

Windows in the West. Avril Paton.

Turn the kaleidoscope and the seventy-eyed creature
Stretches, yawns, shakes the roof snow
Off its back in clumsy dollops, gets a glow
Going, cries of ‘It’s freezing!’ (not really, just a feature
Of tenement winter), puts some coffee on, come on –
How can a single one be a multiple seventy –
I don’t know, but I know I like the mystery –
Breathe out, breathe in, never in unison –
‘When did you get in last night?’ – ‘Where the hell
Did you put my razor?’ – ‘Dog has started
To chew things up again’ – ‘Well well,
You were going to give it a bone, that’s your department’ –
‘That was never what art meant,
Pictures falling off the wall, everyone has a -‘
‘Don’t throw it away. I might need it’ –
‘You’ll never write a line if you don’t heed it
When I tell you there’s enough life,
Enough strife
In this old sandstone block
To turn Anna Karenina and The Great Gatsby
Into one noble undefeated cry
Which is the single tenement sigh
Any time, anywhere.
Turn up the heat,
A new day’s always sweet.’
‘Coffee up.’
‘My god another cracked cup.’


15 thoughts on “Windows in the West. Edwin Morgan

  1. Edwin Morgan, Scotland’s national poet, or makar, wrote this poem on/for Avril Paton’s Glasgow painting ‘Windows in the West’. Luca and myself, recently enjoyed a reading of Morgan’s last collections of poetry held in Glasgow’s Kelivngrove Museum where a frail, yet vibrant, Morgan recited some of his most recents verses.

    P.S. Will, I know this was your turn to post…but I could not resist!

  2. In a rare public appearance, Edwin Morgan celebrated his birthday and launched his latest work of poetry.
    At 87 Edwin continues to be actively involved in Scottish arts. He has published his latest book Beyond the Sun (Luath Press) last month, and has recently published A Book of Lives (Carcanet Press). He is the founder member of the Cultural Commission, a new scheme to honour the nation’s most successful artists and cultural icons. Collaborating with prominent Scottish musicians in the new CD release, Ballads of the Book (Chemikal Records), Edwin features his poetry set to music.

    Edwin Morgan is the last survivor of the canonical ‘Big Seven’ of the Scottish literary renaissance, lead by Hugh MacDiarmid.

    Beyond the Sun contains images of the top 10 favourite paintings in Scotland – chosen in a long-running newspaper poll – with a poem penned about each one by Edwin Morgan.

    · Each favourite painting can be seen in a Scottish art gallery, including four in the newly refurbished Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
    · Includes introductory essays by Lesley Duncan, Poetry Editor of The Herald and Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University.
    · The afterword is by Liz Lochhead, Glasgow’s Poet Laureate.

    ‘An enjoyable and lively dialogue between these ten very popular and familiar paintings and Scotland’s greatest, most popular poet.’

  3. Ruota il caleidoscpio e
    la creatura dai settanta occhi si
    stiracchia sbadiglia si scrolla
    dal dorso la neve in grumi impacciati……

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