Star Gate: Science Fiction Poems

by Edwin Morgan
Reviewed date: 2018 Sep 6
20 pages
cover art

Last year I read Andre Norton's 1958 novel Star Gate. When I heard about Pauline Gedge's 1982 book Stargate, I decided to read every science fiction or fantasy book entitled Star Gate or Stargate, excluding those connected to the movie Stargate and its spinoff TV series. Edwin Morgan's 1979 book of science fiction poems was too expensive to buy on Abebooks, so I requested it through inter-library loan. It's due back tomorrow, no renewals, so I'm reviewing it before I get to Gedge's book or Stephen Robinett's 1976 Stargate.

The verdict
I am not terribly impressed. I am, in fact, disappointed. I'm not much for poetry, particularly not poetry by serious literary types such as Scottish National Poet Edwin Morgan. But I'd hoped to find at least one poem I enjoyed.

I did not.

Science fiction. ?
Some of the poems are science fiction, but not in the written American genre sense. Scarcely even in the larger genre sense. There's an allusion to a monolith in the poem "Instamatic The Moon February 1973", but it's Kubrick, not Clarke, who gets the nod. And "The Clone Poem" is neither science fiction nor science, so far as I can tell.

The Poems
Instamatic The Moon February 1973
The Worlds
Particle Poems
A Home in Space
The Mouth
The Clone Poem
The Moons of Jupiter

I wonder why Morgan chose those five Jovian moons to write poems for. There were many more known moons in 1979. The four big Galilean moons I understand, but why Amalthea?

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