ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Edwin Morgan

Updated on October 7, 2010

Edwin Morgan occupies a rather elite spot on my list of favourites. He is one of my 3 favourite poets of all time, alongside John Donne and W. H. Auden. While each of the three is quite different, they have in common two things. First, they use words wonderfully, making the English language seem so moldable in their hands. But also, all three deal wonderfully with (and sometimes help concretize) abstract concepts. They are, to put it simply, smart. What comes through in their verse creates, for me, the possibity for very intellectual conversation because each, while raising some difficult questions, leaves space for the reader to engage with his writing.

One of my favorites of Morgan's poems is Message Clear. But don't let the title fool you. As with many of his poems, it isn't a straight-forward simplistic sort. Rather, it is a poem that is demanding of the reader, inviting much more than a cursory look. When I first encountered it, I sat staring at the poem, feeling a little befuddled. I more or less had to read the poem "backwards" to gain access to it at all. But once I gained that access... wow! It was indeed a breathtaking view, and one I enjoy revisiting frequently. (And to me, the desire to revisit a poem is a sure sign that it's a good one.)

I've also enjoyed many other of Morgan's poems, including one called "Astrodome," a place where I spent a lot of time in my growing up years. (Sorry, but I can't seem to find a link to the text of the poem.) And his science fiction poems, many of which are collected in From Glasgow to Saturn, are always amongst my favourites when I revisit his work. I am especially fond of The First Men on Mercury. I suppose I first became aware of sci-fi / speculative poetry through Morgan's work, and have since found it to be a wonderful world in which I have immersed myself.

Amongst Morgan's poems you can also find several that are in the spirit of Carroll's "Jabberwocky," where sound is so important in creating the feel and meaning of the poem. Poems like The Loch Ness Monster's Song and "The Mummy" are the sort I can really get into -- great aural effects, with loads of humour.

Which reminds me... Morgan can be really funny sometimes. And he is very inventive too. He went through a stage in which he seemed to be enamoured with the possibilities that word processors brought to poetry. "Message Clear" is one result of that, as are his similarly structured poems Chinese Cat (the text is there in full, about halfway down the page) and The Computer's First Christmas Card, amongst others. His experimentation with what was then new technology has inspired me to experiment with other similar forms in my own poetry, such as using SMS-technology and thinking about what it does to the language we speak each day.

I should say that Morgan has influenced my own writing as much as any poet has. That's not to say my own work pays anything more than a paltry tribute to that influence, but it is something for which I am grateful, all the same.

Note

[Several years ago, when I first started blogging, I joined a site that has since folded.  This post originally appeared there, but is no longer available, I thought HubPages might make a nice new home for this modified version of that article.]

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)