Conversation Starters

Hey everyone. A poem about two great glasweigans who sparked my interest in poetry theatre & traditional music. These two men came from different cultures & social classes but both had a passion for their city & its people. The first man was a middle class poet who wrote a sonnet in memory of the other a working class musician. Edwin Morgan & Matt McGinn wrote & sung about two very different Glasgow’s & each had the talent to bring their city to life as both looked at the problems it faced with humanity & compassion but without rose tinted specs. I have titled the poem Conversation Starters I hope you enjoy the read.

Conversation Starters

Edwin Morgan looked at Glasgow Green
viewed it from a different perspective
no selective memories
from this master of his craft
he wasn’t daft he saw
a city’s dirty washing
and made sure we viewed it too
out of date attitudes questioned
as we looked for answers
to the problems he made us face Glasgow’s disgrace chips and gangsters
conversation starters in the snack bar where all life met
he provided a diet of culture
as he wrote sonnets for the nation
and one for Matt McGinn
a storyteller like him
though the singer from the Carlton
gave voice to a different Glasgow
more working class in nature
I would call it real Labour
where the streets were paved with debt
and red was the colour of blood and pride
Clydeside did have faults and flaws
in the streets that Santa Claus forgot and the easter bunny never visited
not even on good friday
but the people held marches on
may day
to fight for jam today
and the hope of a better future
for their families neighbours and friends

@ Gayle Smith 2012

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