• STV
  • MySTV

Scotland's national poet Edwin Morgan dies aged 90

The Scots Makar Edwin Morgan has died after a long illness.

Edwin Morgan: Died aged 90
© STV

Scotland's national poet Edwin Morgan has died at the age of 90.

Born in Glasgow in 1920, he was recognised as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. His work encompassed a wide variety of forms of poetry, from sonnet to concrete poetry. His death was confirmed by his publisher on Thursday.

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. More will follow through the national and international news systems and readers’ attention is directed to those media now."

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy said: "Everyone who performs or attends at the Edinburgh International Book Festival will be thinking of him with love and gratitude."

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."

Long career

In his career, Edwin Morgan was also recognised as a literary translator, having published work that was originally written in Russian, Hungarian, French and other languages. 

He studied at the University of Glasgow, but his studies were interrupted by World War Two. He served in a non-combatant role with the Royal Army Medical Corps  as a conscientious objector before returning to complete his degree.

Morgan went on to work at Glasgow University as a lecturer until he retired in 1980 but his work as a poet continued. In 2004 a poem he wrote for the opening of the Scottish Parliament building was read at the occasion. He was unable to attend the event as he was too ill at the time.

Many of his poems were studied in schools across Scotland. His works were published in collections including The Glasgow Sonnets, Instamatic Poems and From Glasgow to Saturn.

Well known poems he wrote included Glasgow 5 March 1971 and In the Snackbar, both of which captured scenes in his home city. His poem Strawberries is widely regarded as his best-loved work. His first work - a translation of the poem Beowulf - appeared in 1952 and he continued to have work published in the 21st century.

Recently he collaborated with Scottish band Idlewild. In 1982 he was awarded an OBE. In 1999 was announced as Glasgow's first Poet Laureate and in 2004 he was named as the first Scottish national poet, The Scots Makar.

IN DETAIL

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.