'Andrew Motion's reading at York Literature Festival
(24.3.13) was a moving occasion. The audience was utterly silent as the ex poet-laureate read meditations on love, time, loss and eternity. Motion understands the power of understatement in both writing and performance. It was powerful stuff indeed.'
Andrew Motion is the new President
of the Campaign to Protect Rural England
POETRY BY HEART
THE CUSTOMS HOUSE
New poetry collection, The Customs House (Faber)
'We could do with a day like yesterday every day in our libraries !!!'
Julie Barkway, Wirral Libraries
THE POETRY ARCHIVE
The Poetry Archive is open all hours www.poetryarchive.org
IN THE BLOOD A Memoir of my Childhood
'The most moving and exquisitely written account of childhood loss I have ever read Ö a passionate account of a manís love for his parents and for the countryside in which he grew up Ö
In the Blood will always be Andrew Motionís elegy to his mother. For those of us fortunate enough to read this superlative memoir, itís a celebration of mothers everywhere.í
Charlie Lee-Potter, Independent on Sunday
You think I must be asleep when you sit at my bedside
and well might I be what with the late afternoon hush
now the other residents have all retired to their rooms
but no I am not asleep although you could say uncertain
whether I am myself alone or the sum of those I remember
whose voices have become mine along with their destination.
I can say this at least. I was born a Brixham girl and dadís ship
was the pride of the fleet so every day when they came ashore
I had my pick of the mackerel in their beautiful shiny blue suits.
But then again I was stationed on the flying boats. Wasnít that
a lovely time? The way they came in very low over the harbour
and the deep green water lifted up to greet them or seemed to.
Ask yourself this question. Is it only when you become like me
that you will hear what I have to tell you? Make your mind up.
Hereís me when we were in Llandudno on our honeymoon.
I painted my toenails red. If you cared to look you could see
I still have my toenails red. I do this by myself with no help.
And thatís me dancing round the house Ė it was the fresh air
kept me going, without a single brown penny in my purse.
I am behind you on the mainland, leaning
on your shoulder and pointing with one arm
in front of your face at weightless cinders
which are ravens blustering above the island.
Boulder clay on the outcrops, and beaches
dotted and dashed with coal dust. Guillemots
whitening the cliff face. Small orchids definitely
still evolving in a downpour of Arctic sunlight.
How many years are there left to cross over
and show you things themselves, not my idea
of things? Thirty, if I live to the age of my father.
I cannot explain why I have left it as late as this.
Your black hair blows into my eyes but I can see
everything moving fast now. Weather polishes
the silver fields ahead; the ravens swoop down
and settle among the gorgeous pages of the gospels.