To stub an oar on a rock where none should be, To have it rise with a slounge out of the sea Is a thing that happened once (too often) to me. But not too often - though enough. I count as gain That once I met, on a sea tin-tacked with rain, That roomsized monster with a matchbox brain. He displaced more than water. He shoggled me Centuries back - this decadent townee Shook on a wrong branch of his family tree. Swish up the dirt and, when it settles, a spring Is all the clearer. I saw me, in one fling, Emerging from the slime of everything. So who's the monster? The thought made me grow pale For twenty seconds while, sail after sail, The tall fin slid away and then the tail.
A poet who divided his life and the attention of his poetry between Assynt in the West Highlands, and the city of Edinburgh, Norman MacCaig combined ‘precise observation with creative wit’, and wrote with a passion for clarity.Read more about this poet