Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Edwin Morgan (he's rather wonderful)


I shoved Morgan's 'Selected Poems' into my bag my the way out of the door to Paris to get a sense for him beyond the couple of poems given to me at school. I discovered he's rather wonderful and had great fun reading bits of him to my friend Mary on the bridges and banks of the Seine. Unfortunately I also managed to leave him on one of the said bridges and banks (I hope that whichever Parisian finds my book comes to love him too) and can't find my very favourite poems to post up here, mainly because I've forgotten the titles. There was one about Grendel's mother that might be interesting for the Beowulf lovers in our midsts but its text has escaped me for the moment.

Anyway, I have managed to track this one down elsewhere and did think this was rather good. It also rifts slightly on the Billy Collins Cigarette poem Lorraine brought along to the SLP earlier this year, or at least is also about cigarettes Enjoy! and please trade me other Morgan poems if it would please you to...

One Cigarette

No smoke without you, my fire.
After you left,
your cigarette glowed on in my ashtray
and sent up a long thread of such quiet grey
I smiled to wonder who would believe its signal
of so much love. One cigarette
in the non-smoker's tray.
As the last spire
trembles up, a sudden draught
blows it winding into my face.
Is it smell, is it taste?
You are here again, and I am drunk on your tobacco lips.
Out with the light.
Let the smoke lie back in the dark.
Till I hear the very ash
sigh down among the flowers of brass
I'll breathe, and long past midnight, your last kiss.

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