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Tue, 13 Nov 2007

Matthew Barton wins BBC wildlife poet of the year award

LONDON (NNA) - The poet Matthew Barton has won this year’s BBC wildlife poet of the year award with his poem “Buzzard”.

In their comments, the judges said they were “struck by the control and delicacy of this poem, the subtly-judged breaks in the rhythm that make the readers, like hunter and hunted, hold their breath.”

Matthew Barton, a former Waldorf teacher, now translator, writer and editor, commented on his poem: “In the buzzard I saw a metaphor for that rare sense of perfect inner balance or poise, which is at the same time a sense of connection.”

His poems have appeared in a range of magazines and newspapers and another book of poems, “Vessel”, is due to be published soon (Peterloo). His previous volume, “Learning to Row”, was also published by Peterloo.

“I'm pleased to win this award as a good deal of my work is concerned either directly or obliquely with the natural world - with how the natural environment lives in human beings and can reconnect us with ourselves at a deeper level. There is a powerful upsurge of ecologically-aware poetry at present, and I'm glad to feel involved with that,” Matthew Barton told NNA.

The award-winning poem will be read on BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please on 13 January.

Buzzard

He skims a fine rim

like a potter just putting

the finishing touch to a vase, hardly

touching it at all.

The wind in his skin,

the earth holds its breath in him.

The buzzard is absolute-

ly still: the world revolves.

Now and then the ground

kneels in to him: its prayer

is full of flesh which he exalts

to weightlessness.

He knows the grand design.

He makes time stop then with a slight

flap he starts its heart again.

END/nna/cva

Item: 071113-01EN Date: 13 November 2007

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