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.
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