A reliable ship in turbulent waters - English poetry
As the Wells Festival of Literature ended today, Motion announced the winners he had selected for the Poetry Competition.
In the end I chose as the winners those poems that seemed to be the most brightly illuminated by concentration of language and tender attentiveness to the world (which, in the case of the overall winner, has a good deal of amusement built into its compression).
Lucy Lepchani took first prize with an affectionate poem called Armada of Aunties. The second prize was an ode to fishermen by Margaret Eddershaw.
Motion recently published In the Blood, a memoir of his childhood.
Shadowed by loss, Motion’s recollections of the people and animals and weather that flicker across the East Anglian countryside become more vivid, because these treasured lives and moments are so perishable. The book's triumph, however, is to show that, alongside this sense of the transience of our individual concerns, something else emerges, something not to be understood in the ordinary way but sensed, accepted and, as a single fabric of beauty and wonder, hurt and dismay, celebrated.’ John Burnside, Scotland on Sunday
The sturdy timbers of English poetry have been loss, "tender attentiveness" and "something else". . .