Christopher Middleton

(1926 / Truro, Cornwall / UK)

Biography of Christopher Middleton

Christopher Middleton poet

Christopher Middleton (born 10 June 1926) is a British poet and translator, especially of German literature.
He was born John Christopher Middleton in Truro, Cornwall, in 1926. Following four years' service in the Royal Air Force, he studied at Merton College, Oxford, matriculating in 1948. He then held academic positions at the University of Zürich and King's College London. In 1966 he took up a position as Professor of Germanic Languages & Literature at the University of Texas, Austin, retiring in 1998. Middleton has published translations of Robert Walser, Nietzsche, Hölderlin, Goethe, Gert Hofmann and many others. He has received various awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for translation.

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The Flight

Just seen, running, and silver-gray
along the top tube of a fence between myrtles and me,
too slinky for a bird and even at this distance
unmistakably a quadruped and
nimble, some sort of unspoiled animal, but which?
It ran as if away
from a threat, peril was everywhere,
a footsole crunches it, it is mangled
by a tire's treads, hawk scoops it, turkey buzzard

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