Poetry Fridays: Andrew Motion

Posted on by Dodge

Martin Farawell, Program Director, Poetry

Andrew Motion was the son of a brewer, and grew up in an environment that he describes as “very unbookish indeed.” Yet he went on to become a critically acclaimed literary biographer, established the Poetry Archive project and website in the United Kingdom, and was England’s Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009.

His background is often reflected in the imagery and diction of his poems. The setting is often domestic or rural, and the tone of the poems decidedly understated. We feel both comfortable and welcomed. Within the first few lines of “A-1 Mechanics” we feel that this poet is a guide we can trust, taking us to a place immediately recognizable.

The vivid images Motion creates with such lucid language bid us enter deeper into his poems. We go willingly because we feel we know the place and the speaker. Once we enter fully into an Andrew Motion poem, we discover, again and again, that beneath the inviting surface more troubling emotions and memories lie submerged.

Motion’s many poetry collections include: Selected Poems 1976-1997, Public Property, and most recently, The Cinder Path. His Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life, which won the Whitbread Biography Award; and his life of John Keats, Keats, are considered essential reading for students of these two poets.

Be sure to return for upcoming Poetry Fridays, when we will feature many poets from past Dodge Poetry Festivals in the weeks ahead.

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The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Newark is October 7 – 10!
For more information, visit the Poetry website.

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