Issue 6: Edwin Morgan Tribute
Dorothy Alexander

Three Ante War Poems

These three interlinked pieces were written using variations on a method of found poetry that I have been experimenting with over the last few years. The base text is Edwin Morgan’s 'Strawberries'. I formed words by searching along each line of the poem to generate a vocabulary from which to construct the new work. Thus, for example, the line ‘There were never strawberries’ produced over 140 available words – verse, west, neb, tarries, awe, stare and so on.

What emerged was a meditation on an anti-war theme which seemed fitting, although to me the word ante felt more appropriate and so I titled the piece in this way.

The first word of each line is placed in direct relation to where it can be found in the original poem.

Dorothy Alexander

Three ante war poems

(three interlinked found poems out of Edwin Morgan’s Strawberries)


There were never strawberries

like the ones we had

that sultry afternoon

sitting on the step

of the open french window

facing each other

your knees held in mine

the blue plates in our laps

the strawberries glistening

in the hot sunlight

we dipped them in sugar

looking at each other

not hurrying the feast

for one to come

the empty plates

laid on the stone together

with the two forks crossed

and I bent towards you

sweet in that air

in my arms

abandoned like a child

from your eager mouth

the taste of strawberries

in my memory

lean back again

let me love you

let the sun beat

on our forgetfulness

one hour of all

the heat intense

and summer lightning

on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

  Edwin Morgan


thought is a taint of sight

  stare at thought

thought in fall

thought in fall again

fact wastes

    each lie wipes the template

  lutes and verses serr in reverse

  as each war stashes its lewd gene

    news harries at half sly

    acid in deed

 and acid wastes

 and and acid


how light the earth

when wrens in dowdy stab

forage sly in stone tether

the liar sings forget the wren

let hail waste the feather

the lied to stare at theories

  tears merging in reverb

the wren abandoned


the lone he

the lone herr

  ache bent Inwards and dead to him

  dowdy and dead

each need tossed in a toy idea

  and gee yes

tight high male thrills

   thrills that tears strafe

 and no hells atone