Statue (in memoriam Douglas Gifford)

(i.m. Douglas Gifford)

Every person deserves to have a statue.
Not in the pompous poses waiting their turn
to be torn down by future angry ages,

but natural, relaxed, like Gaudí on his bench,
or Cervantes with his book. A figure
you would sit beside or share a sandwich with.

One such I see, not yet cast or placed within
its proper Scottish setting, only a dream.
Behind it rise the moors and hills, where Hogg and Scott

look on. The enigmatic Stones stand round.
The silver darlings of a northern sea flash
in the dawn. And the rose grows merry in time.

The statue, smiling and alert, discourses
to the Land and People about their treasures
held in books and poems and the scholar’s mind.

Would such a statue not deserve to last,
so much we learned from his abundant store,
that well he drew our native waters from?

Aye, man, if Dougie was here, he would tell you.

Alan MacGillivray

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Alan MacGillivray

Alan MacGillivray is now an occasional practising poet who lives just outside Glasgow in the West of Scotland. Over many years he was successively an English teacher, a college lecturer training English teachers, a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and a university lecturer in Scottish literature. One of his major interests throughout his career has been the literature and language of Scotland, and he has constantly sought to promote the teaching of Scottish Literature in schools, colleges and universities, usually as part of the work of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

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