Folger Poetry Board Reading: Sir Andrew Motion (2016)

The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series presented Folger Poetry Board Reading: Sir Andrew Motion on May 09, 2016, 7:30pm in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre.

Sir Andrew Motion

Sir Andrew Motion.

Sir Andrew Motion is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently Peace Talks. His biography of poet Philip Larkin won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. Motion also wrote Keats: A Biography which inspired film director Jane Campion’s adaptation Bright Star in 2009. Motion has also published several collections of autobiographical prose and fiction.

Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984 and knighted in 1999, Motion served as Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Poetry Archive (UK) and Poetry by Heart. His other honors include the Arvon Observer Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award, among many others.

He currently teaches at The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Reviews and excerpts

A Glass of Wine

Exactly as the setting sun

clips the heel of the garden,

exactly as a pigeon

roosting tries to sing

and ends up moaning,

exactly as the ping

of someone’s automatic carlock

dies into a flock

of tiny echo-aftershocks,

a shapely hand of cloud

emerges from the crowd

of airy nothings that the wind allowed

to tumble over us all day

and points the way

towards its own decay

but not before

a final sunlight-shudder pours

away across our garden-floor

so steadily, so slow

it shows you everything you need to know

about this glass I’m holding out to you,

its open eye

enough to bear the whole weight of the sky.

From Selected Poems, Faber, London, 1998 and The Mower: Selected Poems, Godine, Boston, 2008..