Norman MacCaig had a friend in Inverkirkaig (where he spent his summers for many years) called Angus MacLeod. When his friend died, he wrote a moving sequence of poems in his memory - Poems For Angus.A. K. MacLeod
I went to the landscape I love best
and the man who was its meaning and added to it
met me in Ullapool.
The beautiful landscape was under snow
and was beautiful in a new way.
Next morning the man who had greeted me
with the pleasure of pleasure
Crofters and fishermen and womenfolk, unable
to say any more, said,
'It's a grand day, it's a beautiful day.'
And I thought, 'Yes it is.'
And I thought of him lying there,
the dead centre of it all.
This affects me deeply. It's so bare and simple and understated. And what a truth MacCaig recognizes when he writes of the village people not knowing what to say - except to comment on the weather. I think we can all understand this. For words are inadequate in the face of death. Perhaps we can say more through some homely truism or short comment such as 'It's a grand day' - or through silence - than we ever could through some wordy lament or grandiloquent speech.