Norwegian

Norwegian
I knew his name fine, but couldn't recall it.
He was Norway's answer to Robert Burns, a countryman
among the sophisticates, and their first Modernist.
Do you not know who I mean? I have no books here
to check it up, but gave a lecture on him once:
Non-Anglophone Modernist Writing.
Not Ane Gaborg, though he did translate the Odyssey
into Nynorsk, who was mainly a novelist. Was it Obstfelder
or Olaf Bull? It might have been him. Overlapped the Victorians.
You should know. I should know. No matter -

What was astonishing in the dream was
I could recite whole stanzas of his poetry off by heart.
Lines, images flew from my tongue. I remembered it all,
astonishing even myself as I slept.
Edwin Morgan

from Dreams and Other Nightmares: New and Uncollected Poems 1954-2009 (Edinburgh: Mariscat, 2010)
 

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
Edwin Morgan

Born Glasgow, Edwin Morgan lived there all his life, except for service with the RAMC, and his poetry is grounded in the city.  Yet the title of his 1973 collection, From Glasgow to Saturn, suggests the enormous range of Morgan's subject matter. He was Glasgow's first Poet Laureate 1999-2002, and the first to hold the post of 'Scots Makar', created by the Scottish Executive in 2004 to recognise the achievement of Scottish poets throughout the centuries. 

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