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SCOTNOTES Study Guides

The Poetry of


James McGonigal

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, August 2013
Price: £5.95
ISBN 978-1-906841-15-7

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Edwin Morgan (1920–2010) is one of the giants of modern poetry. Scotland’s national poet from 2004 to his death in 2010, he produced an astonishing range of work, from the playful to the profound.

James McGonigal’s Second Edition of this Scotnote (2013) covers the entirety of Morgan’s work throughout the poet’s long and hugely productive life, and is an ideal guide for senior school pupils and students to Morgan’s overflowing creativity.


1. Introduction

  • An inter/national poet
  • Key themes
  • The Scots Makar
2. A Poet’s Life
  • Growing up
  • Going to war
  • Return to Glasgow
3. A Poet’s Choice
  • Variations on a theme
  • Concrete poetry
  • The Second Life (1968)
  • ‘Good Friday’ and other Glasgow poems
  • Love poems
  • Science fiction poems
4. Gains, Losses
  • Poems of the 1970s
  • Instamatic Poems (1972)
  • From Glasgow to Saturn (1973)
  • ‘Hyena’ and other animal poems
  • To Saturn
  • From Glasgow
  • The New Divan (1977)
  • ‘Winter’ and other endings
  • Star Gate (1979)
5. Towards a Different Scotland
  • Poems of the 1980s
  • Sonnets from Scotland (1984)
  • ‘Slate’ and other sonnets
  • From the Video Box (1986)
  • Themes on a Variation (1988)
6. Translation: Variations on the Theme of Poetry
  • Some functions of translation
  • A theory of poetic translation
7. Dramatic Poetry and Poetic Drama
  • Poems of the 1990s
  • Poetry on stage
  • Poems in a new century
  • Two national poets?
8. Further Reading

9. Index of Titles


Also available: ASLS audio CDs

17 Poems of Edwin Morgan
A Commentary

Readings by Edwin Morgan, with commentary by Professor Roderick Watson – Volume 1
The poetry of Edwin Morgan is varied and original, filling a series of volumes spread over more than fifty years. This collection focuses on two contrasting sides of Morgan’s work: poems centred on the life of his home city of Glasgow, and the poetry coming out of his fascination with space and science.

CD: £9.95

23 Poems of Edwin Morgan
A Commentary

Readings by Edwin Morgan, with commentary by Professor Roderick Watson – Volume 2
Volume 2 contains poems on such topics as Glasgow, love, family, and larger world issues, and moves from acute observation of reality to often surreal heights of imaginative invention. These are the poems of a man who has maintained and extended his range of interests and poetic skills with the advancing years.

CD: £9.95

Last updated 21 August 2013