Razory Edges

I was going to call this blog Razory Edges, but it doesn’t work very well as a URL (razoryedges.wordpress.com—you see the problem*) and it might give the impression that this is a blog about suicide.

Here’s the poem that idea came from:

Praise of a man

He went through a company like a lamplighter –
see the dull minds, one after another,
begin to glow, to shed
a beneficent light.

He went through a company like
a knifegrinder – see the dull minds
scattering sparks of themselves,
becoming razory, becoming useful.

He went through a company
as himself. But now he’s one
of the multitudinous company of the dead
where are no individuals.

The beneficent lights dim
but don’t vanish. The razory edges
dull, but still cut. He’s gone: but you can see
his tracks still, in the snow of the world.

It’s by Norman MacCaig, who you can read about here on the website of the Scottish Poetry Library—they have more of his poems, too.

This blog isn’t a tribute to a departed mentor, but it is intended to help me sharpen my own dull mind, as a historian.

Hat tip to David Gange, who introduced me to Norman MacCaig and to Assynt.

*This is why I had to give up on Unrewarding Gyrations, too, which is a real shame.

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