Presiding Officer pays tribute to Scotland's national poet

21/08/2010

Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament Alex Fergusson MSP, has paid tribute to Edwin Morgan, the first Scottish national poet, who died this week.

Mr Morgan, who was 90, penned a special poem called  'Open the Doors!'  to mark the opening of the new Scottish Parliament building in 2004. 

Mr Morgan told how it took him several months to think about his poem to mark the opening of Holyrood but just a week to put his thoughts to paper and write the 50-line work. The poem celebrates the the Parliament and also warns legislators "to be thinking persons as open and adventurous as its architecture".

Mr Fergusson said: "Mr Morgan's passion for Scotland was evident in his work, which will continue to be loved by his many admirers around the world. His poem for the opening of the Scottish Parliament is as poignant and thought-provoking now as it was six years ago. He was quite simply inspirational."

The poem was read by poet and playwright Liz Lochhead at the opening ceremony as Mr Morgan, who was battling cancer, was too ill to attend. The poem is currently on display near the public stairway to the main Chamber at Holyrood.

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