Andrew Motion's poem 'Frozen Music' celebrates the 175th anniversary of the architectural institute

Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, has written a poem to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The poem, entitled Frozen Music, was read aloud by RIBA president Sunand Prasad at last night’s Royal Gold Medal dinner for the architect Alvaro Siza.

Motion follows in the footsteps of poets such as Betjeman, Hardy and Wordsworth, all of whom were poetically inspired by buildings and architecture.

Frozen Music by Andrew Motion

An eye, shaded for better judgement,

peers from the cave mouth and imagines

four walls, a roof, windows and a door.

The dream hardens and the door locks.

Another eye, perfectly used to daylight,

swings the door wide open and imagines

city blocks, a grid, work-lives and a home.

The dream finishes and the lives begin.

Another eye, still occupied by the horizon,

looks up straight at the sun and imagines

pathways, a bridge, courtyards and a song.

The sun sets and the song continues.

The things we build, by linking earth with air,

all settle us to shape and share the world;

where form meets function, beauty matches truth:

our better selves take root and quicken there.

Postscript : “Frozen Music” has been reproduced with the permission of the RIBA and United Agents