Sunday, 22 August 2010

On Edwin Morgan and the Kamp

A rare thing

yesterday in the Kamp
that brown feeder
burbling its winding way
down through the iron hills
of Lower Austria
in search of the Danube
I sat down on a small rock
and eating my lunch
my cheese and pickle sandwiches
I watched a school of shadows
hovering lazily over the gravel bed
and for some reason that I still cannot fathom
I found myself musing on Eddie Morgan
and his concrete verse
and acrobatic Sprache
when allofasudden ...

I saw an armadillo clad crab
a white clawed crayfish
as it turned out to be
a rare thing
and it was there and then before me
slowly crawling along the shallow bottom
passing the shadowed school
pointing in unison upstream
in the sun-flickered brownness of the water
the crab's whiskers waved in a swirl of currents
and its bold white pincer flicked always
rightways in search of Etwas
and finally doing so
from under a stone ...

where it would patiently wait



  1. For some reason I can't fathom either I can sense the association!

    Made my mouth water. I'm now resisting the temptation to make myself a cheese and pickle sandwich.

  2. I listened this morning to CD of Edwin reciting some of his poems amongst an interview with Michael Schmidt. The computer's first christmas card was especially entertaining.

  3. Thanks Dominic. Resist no longer. Give in to your cheese and pickle temptation, be kind to your salivating digestive juices.

    Thinking back on it now perhaps there were 7 fish and they represented the poets, the so-called Big 7. A bardic school if you like. I know this sounds a little bit biblical but it's not meant to.
    And then the rare crab along - perhaps he represented an idea, or ideas of one of these poets, a way to go, whose time as come - as we like to say.

  4. Well Gerald that'd set you up for the day :) and what I like very much are the man's eyes - they are like a jollybolly Santa's - as you think you remember them from Lewis's or some such childhood store - it's when he looks up to camera after reading a poem - it's that almost childlike enthusiasm for what he is doing that you see in them I think.

  5. and its bold white pincer flicked always
    rightways in search of Etwas

    I did enjoy this delightful picture of aimless searching...

  6. Jinksy, Is that it perhaps, we're flicking around in a river of aimless searching? What a profound thought. And I haven't even made the bed.

  7. I love your choice of words. I had the same sense of motion watching fish in a mountain river, while my boys cast their flyrods.......
    your poem MOVES!


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