Maggie Butt

Dawn Chorus in Amherst

Afterwards the lonely coo of a pigeon
and the rush of the wind in the trees,
a long distant echo dying away
while the birds go quiet down the walk

as if they’d never sparked up a firework display
of song, erupting over one another in chrysanthemum
bursts of scarlet and bronze, comets rising,
rockets soaring and exploding in rainbow stars,

counterpointed Catherine Wheels, waterfalls,
Roman candles, silver fountains, golden rain,
pyrotechnics louder even than our clamours
as their siren throats swelled with air and hope

to exhale a spectacular finale, a technicolour
torrent of sound, reminding, insisting, in spite
of everything – there is joy in the world,
there is so much joy.
(With borrowings from Emily Dickinson.)

Maggie Butt is an English poet who has published five poetry books, one pamphlet, one e-book/MP3 and an edited collection of essays. Her latest collection Degrees of Twilight was published in July 2015 by The London Magazine. She is principal editor of the creative writing journal Writing in Practice. Her poetry has been published in international magazines and been turned into choreography and a mobile phone app. After completing an English degree, Maggie Butt became a newspaper reporter, moving to BBC TV as a documentary writer, producer and director. She later returned to poetry, completing a PhD in creative writing from Cardiff University. Maggie Butt's first pamphlet Quintana Roo was published by Acumen Publications in 2003.  "Sancti Clandestini - Undercover Saints", published November 2012 by Ward-Wood Publications, is a fully illustrated poetry collection, which proposes some alternative, imaginary saints, including the Patron Saints of liars, looters, rank outsiders, compulsive hoarders, old dogs and infidel girls.  Dr Maggie Butt is an Associate Director at Middlesex University, London, where she has taught Creative Writing since 1990.

Maggie Butt has published five poetry books, one pamphlet, one e-book/MP3 and an edited collection of essays. Her poetry has been published in international magazines and been turned into choreography and a mobile phone app. After completing an English degree, Maggie became a newspaper reporter, moving to BBC TV as a documentary writer, producer and director. She later returned to poetry, completing a PhD in creative writing from Cardiff University. Maggie Butt’s first pamphlet Quintana Roo was published by Acumen Publications in 2003. Sancti Clandestini – Undercover Saints, published November 2012 is a fully illustrated poetry collection, which proposes some alternative, imaginary saints, including the Patron Saints of liars, looters, rank outsiders, compulsive hoarders, old dogs and infidel girls. Dr Maggie Butt is an Associate Director at Middlesex University, London, where she has taught Creative Writing since 1990.