Saturday, January 26, 2008

Edwin Morgan - oor Makar

A great piece in the Guardian today by Sarah Crown on the Makar, Edwin Morgan. The conclusion is as moving as anything I've read in years. It could serve as a definition for the sort of humanism I believe in:

The absolute necessity of love - to life and work - is summed up at the end of a poem to a man known simply as G. who, despite declaring "Ah love ma wife", kisses the poet "at Central Station, on the lips in broad daylight". Love, Morgan concludes,

"will not be denied
In this life. It is a flood-tide
You may dam with all your language but it breaks and bullers through and
blatters all platitudes and protestations before it, clean out of sight".

The expansiveness of this final statement is typical of Morgan. "I have friends who are very pessimistic. They say you can't possibly be an optimist nowadays. But I think, taking the longer view, you can still be as optimistic as you want. I'm convinced of this. I've had some bad times and I'm not too well now, so I suppose I have reasons to be pessimistic, but even now, in the last part of my life, what's there is still something I can be glad of, and use. There are very good reasons for thinking things are OK. And I go on doing that."

Call me a sentimental old fool, but I feel better for having read that.

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