In recent years, O'Brien has scooped up prizes like some great cruising cetacean, swallowing smaller fry, and the pilot fish that surf in his wake. Now, he has pulled off a remarkable feat, tonight, winning the T.S. Eliot prize for 2007, in its most robust form yet (the purse has swollen) - all these water images refering of course to his book of water, The Drowned Book (Picador).
It is a curiously apt, even portentous, moment to win, since the UK is braced for earth-threatening floods tonight. Eyewear is not entirely surprised at this audacious win, but still a little surprised. O'Brien was the head judge of these awards last year, and was already well-laurelled for this collection, and is something of a poetry insider, the UK King of the Cats. I thought Morgan, a great genius, and an octogenarian, might have his moment.