Sir Andrew Motion

Folger Poetry Board Reading

Monday, May 09, 2016, 7:30 pm
Folger Theatre
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. 
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.