‘Message Clear’ really forced itself on me as an experience. It was almost written involuntarily. That is most unlike the usual method of writing a concrete poem. It came to me in the old sense in which poems were said to be inspired. (…) This poem was written when my father was very ill, dying of cancer, and I was coming home from the hospital. Suddenly this line ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ came into my head and then the poem began to emerge from the line. I think about half of it was in my head going home of the bus and I had to come in and write down as much of it as I could right away before it disappeared.
– Edwin Morgan: Nothing Not Giving Messages (1990), pp.59-60