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Andrew’s story: ‘Rich Day’ Thursday, 21 January 2010

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.

I carry many fragments but only a few complete poems in my head. The most special is probably ‘Rich Day’ by Norman MacCaig. I first read it in the Weekend Scotsman c. 1968, and never forgot it. I formed an ambition to have a poem in the Scotsman, and this led to my concentrating on poetry. I told NM this in the Auld Toll Bar c. 1994, the last time we were out together. He said ‘I can’t remember that one. How does it go?’ I closed my eyes and mercifully was able to recite it back to him.

After a long pause he beamed ‘I like that! That’s quite good!’

The curious thing is it is not in the Collected Poems, though it’s one of his real good ‘uns. I still have the cutting somewhere. I must be one of the few people in the world to still have that poem. I tell this true story, at fuller length, to my fishing friends in my At the Loch of the Green Corrie, a book in memory of Norman and his friends and a fishing trip he asked me to make, due out in April 2010. The poem will also be printed (from my memory) there, putting it back in circulation!

Andrew Greig is a poet and a novelist. He has also edited the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems online anthology for 2009.


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