'Redneck' rockets to the top prize
Tuesday 14 January 1997
I was footwork and firework in one,
a rocket that wriggled up and shot
darkness with a parasol of brilliants
and a peewee descant on a flung bit;
I was busters of glitter-bombs expanding
to mantle and aurora from a crown,
I was fouettes, falls of blazing paint,
para-flares spot-welding cloudy heaven,
loose gold off fierce toeholds of white,
a finale red-tongued as a haka leap:
and too was a butt of all right!
As usual after any triumph, I was
Of course inconsolable.
This poem, called "Performance", is from Les Murray's collection Subhuman Redneck Poems which yesterday won the pounds 5,000 TS Eliot Prize for poetry.
Full report and an appreciation of Murray's work, page 5
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