Edwin Morgan Centenary Collection

Edwin Morgan Insta Square (002)

On this day of Edwin Morgan’s centenary celebration I was delighted to hear that I have had an acceptance of one of two poems submitted for the above, to be published by Speculative Books.

Because of C19, the book launch has been cancelled [though I probably couldn’t have attended] but I have today supplied a requested reading for a podcast to be made as a replacement – and had some fun recording for that.

I first came across Edwin Morgan’s work through his poems appearing in anthologies I used in my English teaching. I subsequently explored his work more fully, continuing to use with students. For my postings about him and this, you can find and read here.

The following is one of my favourite Morgan collections, a ‘reverse’ twofer, and I built a GCSE Speaking and Listening activity around this with students reading and then re-presenting his poems as TV news reportage with interviews: a great amalgam of engagement with and response to his Takes poems:

Pandemic Planning

Our third-party fire and theft
and pandemic insurance,

guided by the preparedness
of excess death planning.

We have been caught
planning for unprecedented

recruitment and deployment
of death, and

implementing lessons learned
by trying to be ready.

We have been trying,
guided at all times by rapidly

learned lessons of death.
This is an unprecedented

theft of life.
The right steps at the time

of being guided at all times by
the insurance lessons.

We have preparedness.
We have tailored preparedness

at all times guided by
the right steps at that time.

This includes being ready.
We have been caught planning.

The Ancient Mariner Big Band

am image

This found prose poem was prompted by a pair of connected things: the current daily Big Read of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner [listen here] and my work with the Coleridge Memorial Trust.

This international reading is a wonderful idea and celebration of the poem, its relevance today argued by two engaging recent articles in The Guardian, here and here, if interested.

I look forward to the completion of the daily reads [not in the sense of rushing these to a close…] but to hear the whole, as the snippets do inevitably disrupt what should by the continuous storytelling of a potent narrative poem.