SCOTLAND’S national poet Edwin Morgan died today at the age of 90.

August 20, 2010 Date: 19 August 2010

SCOTLAND’S national poet Edwin Morgan died today at the age of 90.
His publisher said that he passed away at his care home in Glasgow.
Morgan, who was born in Glasgow in 1920, was recognised as one of the great poets of the 20th century.

• Edwin Morgan
In 2004 he was appointed ‘Scots Makar’, in effect Scotland’s poet laureate, by then First Minister Jack McConnell.

He had been suffering from prostate cancer since 1999.

In a statement on its website his publisher said: “It is with great sadness that Sandstone Press echoes the news of Edwin Morgan’s death at his care home in Glasgow, the city which he loved and celebrated throughout his long and creative life.

“We understand from the poet’s close friend and biographer, James McGonigal, that Edwin Morgan’s health had recently taken a downturn.

“Our thoughts are with James and his own family, and with Edwin Morgan’s many colleagues and close friends in the arts.”

Morgan was born in Glasgow’s west end and went to school in Rutherglen.
He served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Middle East during the Second World War, and went on to work as an academic at the University of Glasgow where he became a lecturer and later a professor.

He was appointed Glasgow’s first Poet Laureate in 1999.

His ‘Sonnets from Scotland’ are considered one of the most important works of post-war literature and as well as writing poetry, he also translated poems from various other languages.

Sandstone Press Managing Director Robert Davidson said: “The whole world will grieve for Scotland’s leading makar today but for the city of Glasgow, on the day it bids farewell to another of its great sons, Jimmy Reid, it will be a day of especial sorrow.

“Edwin Morgan and Jimmy Reid took the best of this great city’s intellect, feeling and fighting spirit into the world and made their marks for us all.”

In his later years Morgan was awarded a Saltire Society and Scottish Arts Council lifetime achievement award.

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Edwin Morgan was truly a great man, an exceptional poet, an inspiration and a most fitting choice as the Scotland’s first National Poet.

“Much-loved in Scotland and indeed around the world, his work tackled all manner of global issues and major historical events closer to home. His passion for observing all aspects of Scottish life shone a spotlight on Scotland for the rest of the world.

“I vividly recall the poem he wrote for the Opening of the Scottish Parliament, when he wrote ‘Don’t let your work and hope be other than great’. That epithet must surely apply to Edwin Morgan himself.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time, but his legacy of great work will endure and ensure his name lives on.”


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