Trio - a Poem Which Deals with a Happy Experience


‘Trio’ is a seasonal, life-affirming poem that recounts a moment in eternity caught in the gleam of the poet, Edwin Morgan’s eye. He transforms the mundane experience, of returning home after a day’s Christmas shopping, into something significant. The trio are changed into all that is good in the world, expressing a clear message - through love even the most everyday activities can become something to be cherished.

From the outset, Morgan makes his central theme obvious to the reader and we are encouraged to share in his curiosity and attentiveness. The first indication of the theme is in the title; “Trio” has connotations that include togetherness, because we associate a trio with a close group of friends. Moreover, ‘trio’ is significant because it has a musical angle to it that ‘three’ would not possess, immediately establishing an upbeat mood. These associations convey to the reader that love has the power to transform. Morgan establishes where and when the poem is set almost immediately:
“Coming up Buchanan Street, quickly, on a sharp winter evening”
Here, the bustling street conjures up the nostalgia of Christmas shopping. The use of the present participle; “Coming up”, suggests pace and immediacy and the parenthetical inclusion of the word “quickly” further confirms this suggestion. It connotes drive, vigour and youthfulness which, in turn, relate to the setting. It also represents the pace with which the trio is banishing the dark, how rapidly good can triumph over evil. The poet’s use of; “a sharp winter evening” is important in developing our understanding of the poem. In particular, the word “sharp” further details the scene, implying that not only is it cold and brisk outside, but that Morgan is seeing everything with real precision.

The introduction of the ‘trio’ from the title; “a young man and two girls”, signifies the togetherness they possess, standing in line, as crowds part for them....