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'Redneck' rockets to the top prize

I starred last night, I shone:

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