Sir Andrew Motion Poetry Reading – January 2015

A Student’s View

A number of literature students went along to an ISSP event at Bootham School for a poetry reading from Sir Andrew Motion, former poet laureate. It was a really inspiring experience that led many of us, I’m sure, to consider the themes brought up long after the reading. The poetry read was beautiful and thought provoking and the way it was read aloud by the poet himself was a deeply moving and fascinating experience. Motion also presented us with some of his life experiences that became the basis and ideas for his poetry, his way with words being extraordinary even in prose and his voice was almost music in its own right.

During the reading he talked of when he started writing poetry and of his careers advisor who, when confronted with a 17 year old Motion announcing, “I’m a poet,” stated bluntly, “then there is nothing I can do for you.” Motion talked of the poets that originally inspired him, even mentioning that he later became friends with Larkin and he read a number of biographical poems as well as war poetry and holocaust inspired works and he gave us curious insights into each.

At the end of the talk there was an opportunity to ask questions where we learned of his writing process; his thoughts on music and musicians as poets; and what he essentially believed a poem to be. There was an opportunity to buy some of his poetry collections at the end as well as go up to him and talk to him; all in all it was a very interesting and well worthwhile endeavour.

Cat – All Saints’ School