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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 30 May 2010

Roger McGough visits Cambridge University Library to see the wealth of poetry manuscripts held there. The works range from what is arguably one of the earliest poems in English - the Hymn of Caedmon, dating to a codex prepared by Northumbrian monks in the year 737. The programme ranges in time, then, from the Anglo Saxon period to contemporary work by Carol Ann Duffy and Ann Stevenson. Roger is joined by librarian John Wells, and the actors Juliet Stevenson and David Bamber. Producer: Mark Smalley.

  • Poems featured in this programme:

    Answer to a Child’s Question
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    From: More Poetry Please
    Pub: BBC Books

    Caedmon’s Hymn
    by The Venerable Bede
    translated by GK Anderson
    From: The Literature of the Anglo-Saxons
    Pub: Princeton UP

    The Former Age
    by Chaucer
    From: The Complete Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
    Pub: The Free Press

    Elegy 18 (The Heavens Rejoiceth in Motion)
    by John Donne
    From: Donne – Everyman Library Pocket Poets
    Pub: Everyman

    Moments of Grace
    by Carol Ann Duffy
    From: Carol Ann Duffy – Selected Poems
    Pub: Penguin

    Extracts from Lycidas
    by John Milton
    From: John Milton – The Complete Poems
    Pub: Everyman

    Extract from The Princess
    by Alfred Lord Tennyson
    From: Alfred Lord Tennyson – Selected Poems
    Pub: Penguin

    In the Tunnel of Summers
    by Anne Stevenson
    From Anne Stevenson – Poems – 1955-2005
    Pub: Bloodaxe


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