Winter (EM)

Winter (EM)
The year goes, the woods decay, and after,
many a summer dies. The swan
on Bingham’s pond, a ghost, comes and goes.
It goes, and ice appears, it holds,
bears gulls that stand around surprised,
blinking in the heavy light, bears boys
when skates take over swan-tracks gone.
After many summer dyes, the swan-white ice
glints only crystal beyond white. Even
dearest blue’s not there, though poets would find it.
I find one stark scene
cut by evening cries, by warring air.
The muffled hiss of blades escapes into breath,
hangs with it a moment, fades off.
Fades off, goes, the scene, the voices fade,
the line of trees, the woods that fall, decay
and break, the dark comes down, the shouts
run off into it and disappear.
At last the lamps go too, when fog
drives monstrous down the dual carriageway
out to the west, and even in my room
and on this paper I do not know
about that grey dead pane
of ice that sees nothing and that nothing sees.
Edwin Morgan

From Collected Poems (Carcanet, 1990).

Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Carcanet Press.

Edwin Morgan

Born in Glasgow, Edwin Morgan lived there all his life, except for service with the RAMC. Although his poetry is grounded in the city, 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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