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Poetry

“Michael Symmons Roberts’ poems are intense and sensual explorations of the moment when the soul quickens to some ice-cracking life”
The Observer

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Libretti

"MacMillan makes Roberts' words flow as naturally as psalm-pointing. One moment he is as desolate as Rilke, the next as subtle as Sappho or a Tang dynasty poem."
The Independent

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Broadcast

“The poet and dramatist Michael Symmons Roberts is an outstanding writer, whom radio has done much to nurture.”
Sunday Times

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News and Events

DRYSALTER WINS COSTA PRIZE
Michael’s latest poetry collection – Drysalter, published by Cape in April 2013 – has won the Poetry Prize at the Costa Book Awards link

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DRYSALTER SHORTLISTED FOR COSTA PRIZE
Michael’s latest poetry collection – Drysalter – published by Cape in April 2013, has been shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize....

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DRYSALTER WINS FORWARD PRIZE
Drysalter – MSR’s sixth collection – has won the £10,000 Forward Prize 2013 for best collection at a ceremony held at the South Bank Centre’s Purcell Room...

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Books

Half Healed

Read about Half Healed >

Corpus

Read about Corpus >

Burning Babylon

Read about Burning Babylon >

Raising Sparks

Read about Raising Sparks >

Soft Keys

Read about Soft Keys >

Breath

Read about Breath >

Edgelands

Read about Edgelands >

Drysalter

Read about Drysalter >

  
           
 

Poem

This poem is from
Drysalter »

             

HITCHCOCKEAN

The birds are taking over. Not in rows on high wires,
chittering on rooves at passers-by, fixing a lone child
with their red-ringed, sink-hole eyes, not by massing

on our window-sills at dawn and tap-tap-tapping
with the urgency, hunger, blunt-sense of the wild,
not with a skirl and swoop like smoke cut loose from fire,

but with a single egg inside each one of us,
lodged in the fold between lungs, not felt until the break,
la petite mort when shell cracks and a song begins,

an airless, blood-borne trill, a pulse, a stretch of wing,
which may be dun wren, bird of paradise, dull rook,
and none of us can know what kind is ours,

nor even know for sure it’s there, this skitter,
this arrhythmia, this restlessness, this ache that makes
you walk out, mid-meal, steal a car and disappear.

(first published in 'POEM')

 

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