Virtual and Other Realities

Front Cover
Carcanet, Jan 1, 1997 - Poetry - 101 pages
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In A Voyage', which opens Edwin Morgan's new book, he takes a cinematic risk, evoking the journey of the human sperm from ejaculation to fertilization. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1996, the poem opened new possibilities on the air as it does on the page. It belongs with Morgan's poems of space exploration, celebrating the chanciness and heroism of this most primal risk, and with his poetry of science. It also belongs with his love poems, performing a comprehensive synthesis of concerns.

Three sequences complete this ambitious book. Beasts of Scotland' was commissioned by the Glasgow International Jazz Festival and set to music by the saxophonist Tommy Smith. Like The Five-Pointed Star', written for the Burns Bicentenary of 1996, Beasts' shows how commissioned, occasional poetry can at once honor and transcend its occasion. The title sequence of fifty triplet poems considers the consequences to reality of notions of virtual reality'. Once again Morgan displays his versatility and his rooted passion for language, for place and for real people living in a modern world that can merit celebration, laughter and (however hard-won) joy. No wonder his work, with its Scottish and European perspectives, is at once sophisticated and popular.

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Contents

A Voyage
13
March
47
North to the Future
60
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Edwin Morgan was born in Glasgow in 1920. His studies at Glasgow University were interrupted in 1940 when he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, but he returned to university and graduated with a First Class Honours degree. Turning down a scholarship at Oxford, he lectured at Glasgow University until 1980. He has published numerous volumes of poetry and translated works from many languages. His various awards include the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2000 and the prestigious Weidenfeld Prize for Translation in 2001. In 1999 he became Glasgow's first Poet Laureate, and in 2004 was given the title of Scotland's National Poet.

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