A Poem by Norman MacCaig
Norman MacCaig (1910-1996) was a major Scottish poet of the twentieth century. The following poem is included in his collection, The Sinai Sort (1957):
November night, Edinburgh
The night tinkles like ice in glasses.
Leaves are glued to the pavement with frost.
The brown air fumes at the shop windows,
Tries the doors, and sidles past.
I gulp down winter raw. The heady
Darkness swirls with tenements.
In a brown fuzz of cottonwool
Lamps fade up crags, die into pits.
Frost in my lungs is harsh as leaves
Scraped up on paths. â€“ I look up, there,
A high roof sails, at the mast-head
Fluttering a grey and ragged star.
The world’s a bear shrugged in his den.
It’s snug and close in the snoring night.
And outside like chrysanthemums
The fog unfolds its bitter scent.