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Poetry by Heart

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.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 25 May 2014 16:30

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



Role Contributor
PresenterRoger McGough
ReaderJean Sprackland
ReaderAndrew Motion