MacCaig is an important figure for me. I credit having read him for Higher English with nudging me into writing poetry as a teenager. An unforgettable experience, really, although I never met the man. That’s one of my great poetry-related regrets, not least because I had — and, for reasons I can’t remember no matter how I rack my brains, passed up — the opportunity to hear him read when I was at school.
It’s a while since I read MacCaig, even as an adult, but it has been a genuine pleasure lately to rediscover the sheer quality of his observation and the sharpness and humanity of his writing.
Happy birthday, Mr MacCaig.