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Poetry by Heart

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 25 May 2014

Roger McGough presents a selection of poems recited by finalists at Poetry by Heart, a competition for students at school and college in England to learn and recite poems from memory. Also featuring Jean Sprackland, Andrew Motion and Roger himself, all treating us to some of their favourite poetry without using any words on a page to prompt them.

  • This Week's Poems

    Those Winter Sundays

    By Robert Hayden

    From The Oxford Book of American Poetry

    Published by Oxford UP

    Read by Jean Sprackland


    The Shout

    By Simon Armitage

    From The Universal Home Doctor 

    Published by Faber & Faber

    Read by Anna Offiah


    The Cleaner

    By UA Fanthorpe

    From Collected Poems 1978-2003

    Published by Peterloo Poets

    Read by Ellie Macdonald


    Musee des Beaux Arts

    By WH Auden

    From Collected Shorter Poems 1927-1957

    Published by Faber & Faber

    Read by Sofia di Lorenzo


    The God Abandons Antony

    By CP Cavafy

    From Collected Poems

    Published by Chatto & Windus

    Read by Kobby Adi


    I Look into my Glass

    By Thomas Hardy

    From The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy

    Published by Macmillan

    Read by Sir Andrew Motion


    The Way Through the Woods

    By Rudyard Kipling

    From The Faber Book of Children’s Verse

    Published by Faber

    Read by Matilda Neill


    A Supermarket in California

    By Allen Ginsberg

    From Collected Poems 1947-1980

    Published by Harper & Row

    Read by Logan Jones


    The Galloping Cat

    By Stevie Smith

    From Collected Poems

    Published by New Directions

    Read by Isabel Brooks



    By John Masefield

    From Everyman’s Book of Evergreen Verse

    Published by Everyman

    Read by Roger McGough


    Porphyria’s Lover

    By Robert Browning

    From An Oxford Anthology of English Poetry

    Published by Oxford UP

    Read by Fey Popoola


    The Wedding

    By Alice Oswald

    From Being Alive

    Published by Bloodaxe Books

    Read by Kadedra Duffus



Roger McGough
Jean Sprackland
Andrew Motion


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