29 Faces #19 Old Poet

Ok, a bit of a cheat as I did this a while ago – early 90’s I think. It’s the late great Norman MacCaig – one of Scotland’s finest poets and probably my favourite. If you get a chance check out some of his work. Here is one from 1988…

Small Boy

He picked up a pebble
and threw it into the sea.

And another, and another.
He couldn’t stop.

He wasn’t trying to fill the sea.
He wasn’t trying to empty the beach.

He was just throwing away,
nothing else but.

Like a kitten playing
he was practising for the future

when there’ll be so many things
he’ll want to throw away

if only his fingers will unclench
and let them go.

I had the privilege of attending a reading with MacCaig and another great sadly gone, Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean, in Edinburgh 1988. They were amazing.

Ok, 10 faces to go. Will I make it?


4 thoughts on “29 Faces #19 Old Poet

  1. Yes you will! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful poignant poem. The words speak so much truth and this is a lovely portrait.

  2. Your sketch of Norman MacCaig captures the spirit of the man. Your talent is uncanny.

    I look forward to reading more of both poets you recommend.

  3. You have little ones afoot. I imagine you spend more time reading poetry than I do!

    I looked up Norman MacCaig, and read a little of his biography, which gave me ideas about Civil Disobedience, and a little of his poetry, enough to know I will look for his collections so that I can read more.


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