“Edinburgh Scene” by Alan Jackson 1967.
This is without doubt the finest poem of a time and of a place ever to have been written or read.
Jackson Joyfully Playfully in many layers shows that freedom is possible and unrepentant.
And one of the few to capture the Edinburgh dialect, the spirit of the time and the duality of the soul and muse – the inner mystical journey as it manifests projected on the gnarl of realism.
It documents precisely the journey from a good secretarial job to the freedom to love.
The dichotomous relation between societal dissaproval in the eyes of the staid, imprisoned and unhip past and the freedom from all possession – to love unhindered – and so create.
One might consider the two female protagonists as the anima of Jackson’s mythical poet hero.
The men are ornamental cyphers for the heroinic transformative journey of the women – iron Jane to borrow from the mythopoetic.
Everything is duality in the poem, man woman, 2 rooms, 2 girls, a two room flat.
In the act of sharing, titalatingly suggested as transgressive permissivity, the narrator is “we” so the two become one in the readin’.
The poem concludes “that’s what it means to be beat” and so it is the poets journey – the beat poet – Jackson himself is the narrator of this final line I think – the birds are the poet’s soul and muse.
Did Jackson mean all this when writing – it disnae matter, it is all there for the finding.
I hope to yet aquire permission to post the poem in full
it can be found in :
“Love, love, love: The new love poetry” – an Anthology by Roche, Pete, Transworld 1967 ISBN 0552077896
— other work —
Some Beat – Hitch Haikus
and the cauld rain fallin
His latest poetry anthologies are available as free ebooks from lulu “A Great Beauty” by Alan Jackson, ” and POD paperbacks “Walking Through Apocalypse” by Alan Jackson
And his work can be enjoyed daily at the Scottish Parliament where it is carved in stone.