Overview

Glasgow Sonnet (1) is the first in a series of poems Morgan wrote about Glasgow and Scotland.

Morgan was always intrigued about the outside world and internationalist in outlook, He was also deeply committed to his home city and the issues which affected it. He first constructed the sequence of Glasgow sonnets from which this poem comes in 1972. He later published a collection of sonnets devoted to Scotland.

The early seventies was a time of failing industry and rising unemployment in Britain and Morgan explores the human costs of these factors in this poem. It is an unflinching description of a derelict Glasgow housing block – the filth, debris and poverty that abound there and the people that populate this poor excuse that they call home.

The poem starts by giving a description of the exterior of the building before entering inside to concentrate on the poor life of an old man, disappointed, ill and abandoned by a society which does not seem to care.