Les Murray gave The Poetry Society Annual Lecture 2010, 'Infinite Anthology: Adventures in Lexiconia', held with the Institute of English Studies, University of London. The Poetry Society published a commemorative print of his poem, 'High-speed Bird', with a wood engraving by Ian Stephens RE and hand-printed by Hand & Eye Letterpress, London.

High-speed Bird

by Les Murray

At full tilt, air gleamed –
and a window-struck kingfisher,
snatched up, lay on my palm
still beating faintly.

Slowly, a tincture
of whatever consciousness is
infused its tremor, and
ram beak wide as scissors

all hurt loganberry inside,
it crept over my knuckle
and took my outstretched finger
in its wire foot-rings.

Cobalt wings, shutting on beige
body. Gold under-eye whiskers,
beak closing in recovery
it faced outward from me.

For maybe twenty minutes
we sat together, one on one,
as if staring back or
forward into prehistory.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

More about the Poetry Society…

Tweets @PoetrySociety

“Wow. The rain. Rose beetles.” Retweeted by The Poetry Society

test Twitter Media - RT @underwood_jack: “Wow. The rain. Rose beetles.” https://t.co/8CqwV0ZpjC

A little clip from the new film poem Muirburn. You can watch the film on vimeo.com/334876226 Poem by @YvonneReddick Photography by @torzdallison Soundscape by @lennertbusch commissioned by @PoetrySociety @poetrycinema @ace_national #POETRY #poetryfilm #muirburn Retweeted by The Poetry Society

Sunday, Radio 4, @bbcpoetryplease: @KMcCarthyWoolf the award winning poet of Jamaican-British heritage joins Roger McGough to make her selection of listeners' #poems. bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00…

test Twitter Media - Sunday, Radio 4, @bbcpoetryplease: @KMcCarthyWoolf the award winning poet of Jamaican-British heritage joins Roger McGough to make her selection of listeners' #poems.

https://t.co/O0CLlX2oQk https://t.co/IdBV4ez9hk

For #WorldBeeDay I managed to write a poem about the Moss carder bee to take to @PoetrySociety Stanza group tonight, despite NO COFFEE due to horrible sinus head cold. bumblebeeconservation.org/ginger-yellow-… Retweeted by The Poetry Society

My poem 'Sentience' in the beautiful @ButchersDogMag, as read at Poem-A-Thon on Saturday @PoetrySociety Retweeted by The Poetry Society

@gregfreempoet @WordSparks @PoetrySociety When I joined last year, @paulmcgranepoet made me feel really welcome to the @PoetrySociety. Since then he has listened patiently to my occasional requests for help, and quickly pointed in the right direction. His star shines very brightly, and we are lucky to have him. Retweeted by The Poetry Society