Thomas M Edgar
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the word 'POETRY' in the subject line of any email you send.
Why write poetry, Poet?
For more years than I can remember, as a Management Consultant, I’ve been writing and implementing business plans, standard operating procedures, flow charts, and statistical process control formulae for a wide range of businesses.
I write poetry to maintain some sort of balance between the “real” world, where we must earn a living, and the even “realer” world, where we must live.
Whilst I gain some satisfaction, both monitory and a sense of a job well done, from my business writing, it’s hardly written for entertainment.
It leaves a gap which I feel I must fill by writing something that is meant “only” for entertainment for both myself and the recipient.
After all, “man cannot live by bread alone” (I didn’t write that).
How did you get started writing poetry?
I was brought up in a typical council house in Udston housing scheme Hamilton (the jungle).
My dad was a coal miner. My mum, who had been her school dux, was a survivor and kept us all alive during the second world war, with the exception of my young brother Kennedy.
He had been ill and died of fright one night when a bomb landed in a field at the top of our street.
I still remember this time as one of singing, dancing and poetry.
We all made up little rhymes as a kind of mantra.
I suppose I look on poetry now as part of my survival instinct.
I’m not sure however if my skills have improved since I was five years old.
I will leave that for you good people to judge.
Who were your influences?
My Uncle Archie, who was the president of the Burns Club, Gorebridge, Midlothian and Robert Burns of course, whose name I could say clearly before I could say my own.
My earliest influence from memory every year, was when our extended family got together in our house at 'Ner'day'.
After all the 'first footing' had been done and the New Year brought in, the dishes were cleared away following a feast of steak pie and shortbread.
We all sat around in a circle, glasses charged…
My Dad, as Master of Ceremonies, with a great sense of theatre, would proceed to introduce us all one at a time to sing our song or recite our piece.
“One singer one song!” Do you remember those days when we were polite enough to listen to someone sing a song all the way through?
Anyway, after more than half a century, I can still close my eyes and remember with great clarity my Mammy and Daddie, all my old Uncles and Aunts, Sisters and Cousins during this precious period of time, and hear again their “offerings”.
My later influence was Miss McKensie at Glenlee Primary School, who introduced me to “The Scarecrow” by Walter De La Mare (which I can still recite all the way through).
I was seven, she was gorgeous.
My next person of influence was Miss Murdoch, at St Johns Grammar in Hamilton, affectionately known as Portia, who taught me all about the quality of mercy.
My most recent influence was when I wrote a poem I’d dedicated to my dear friend Billy Wilkie.
We were class mates at Coatbride Tech and fellow musicians. Billy died just over a couple of years ago with cancer.
Another of my childhood friends and fellow musicians from the “Versatyles”, Jim Wright, submitted the poem to the Hamilton Advertiser, with the story behind it.
The Advertiser did a beautiful coverage, photos included.
The poem was “A Dedication to the Valley of the River Clyde”.
I continue to write poetry because of this wonderful act by Jim.
What is your favourite poetic verse?
The words of a couple of songs actually, “The Last Rose of Summer” and “Bonny Mary of Argyle" sung by “the coalminer”, my dad, with his incredible Basso Profundo voice, before the “lungs of stone” got to him.
Examples of poetry.
Who are the Scots?
Donald Caskie (1902 - 1983) The Tartan Pimpernell. Minister of the Scot's Kirk in Paris. During World War II he moved to Marseille where he helped British servicemen escape the Nazis to freedom. Eventually arrested, badly treated and sentenced to death, he was released following the intervention of a German clergyman. He returned to the Scot's Kirk which was rebuilt after the war.