Coming up Buchanan Street, quickly, on a sharp winter evening a young man and two girls, under the Christmas lights – The young man carries a new guitar in his arms, the girl on the inside carries a very young baby, and the girl on the outside carries a chihuahua. And the three of them are laughing, their breath rises in a cloud of happiness, and as they pass the boy says, ‘Wait till he sees this but!’ The chihuahua has a tiny Royal Stewart tartan coat like a teapot- holder, the baby in its white shawl is all bright eyes and mouth like favours in a fresh sweet cake, the guitar swells out under its milky plastic cover, tied at the neck with silver tinsel tape and a brisk sprig of mistletoe. Orphean sprig! Melting baby! Warm chihuahua! The vale of tears is powerless before you. Whether Christ is born, or is not born, you put paid to fate, it abdicates under the Christmas lights. Monsters of the year go blank, are scattered back, can’t bear this march of three. – And the three have passed, vanished in the crowd (yet not vanished, for in their arms they wind the life of men and beasts, and music, laughter ringing them round like a guard) at the end of this winter’s day.
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.Read more about this poet