August 18, 2011
Edwin Morgan has been much in our minds this week, on the first anniversary of his death. His own words are the best ones for remembrance. Several people turned to his poem ‘Fires’ at this time last year, with its wonderful evocation of a gramophone record heard across the street in Rutherglen, where he was growing up, and the repeated song ‘One Fine Day’:
… I thought of that person,
him or her, as taking me to a country
far high sunny where I knew to be happy
was only a moment, a puttering flame in the fireplace
but burning all the misery to cinders
if it could, a sift of dross like what we mourn for
as caskets sink with horrifying blandness
into a roar, into smoke, into light, into almost nothing.
The not quite nothing I praise it and I write it.
We write his name and go on praising the work, the far from nothing.