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 You are in:    Front Page > Sitemap > Poems
By post

We need to hear from you now if there's a favourite published poem (not your own!) which you would like to hear read.

You can send an email or write to us at:.
Poems by Post
BBC Bush House
London WC2B 4PH

Below is a cross section of poems to give you some ideas

Hegley Milton Edward Thomas - 'Adlestrop'
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
You might want to choose something widely anthologised that you remember from your schooldays, like 'Adlestrop' by Edward Thomas, read by Fiona Shaw - a melancholic evocation of a small rural English railway station.

Hillaire Belloc - 'Matilda, Who told Lies .....'
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
You could choose something that makes you laugh. Anna Melotti in Bermuda asked for 'Matilda, Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death' by the 19th Century English poet, wit and essayist Hillaire Belloc. It was read by Jane Lapotaire.

John Milton - 'Lycidas'
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
Or perhaps there's a classic of English literature that you're studying, which could be more easily understood when read aloud. Eric Moore from Alicante in Spain requested 'Lycidas' by John Milton. It's an elegy for a friend who died at sea, and Fiona Shaw read the last section of the poem.

John Hegley - 'Love Cuts'
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
Perhaps there is a contemporary poem that you have come across recently that you would like to share? Lucia Gascon Ration from Castellon in Spain asked for 'Love Cuts' by John Hegley. It was read by Sonia Ritter. Hegley is a poet who regularly appears in theatres and pubs. His poems often start out with an element of mockery and then he takes his readers and listeners into quite serious territory.

Gavin Ewart - 'Hurried Love'
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
Love is often the subject of great poetry and love poems are often requested. Ann Thorp from Karachi in Pakistan asked for a poem by the modern English poet Gavin Ewart (He died in 1995). It's a tender honest poem about how little time we all have for love, called 'Hurried Love', read by Mark Saban.

Raymond Carver -'Locking Yourself Out .....'
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
We have many requests for modern classics of American literature, like 'Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying to Get Back In' by Raymond Carver. It was for Christoph Keiser from Wintertur in Switzerland, read by Samuel West. Although Carver is best-known for his short stories, his poems have a deadpan tone to describe the slightly bizarre, oddball moments of everyday life.

Poetry in Other Languages
And we are always interested in poetry written in other languages, as long as it exists in a published English translation.

Andrew Hawkins from Changzhou in China asked for a poem by the modern Chinese poet Bei Dao. Bei Dao, who now lives in the United States, is one of those rare poets who hear their poems recited by people in the street. In this case it was by the student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing who found their feelings echoed in lines like:

'They say the Ice Age ended years ago. Why are there icicles everywhere?'

'The Answer' by Bei Dao
 Hear the poem |  Read the poem
Translated by Bonnie Mcdougall and read by Mark Saban.

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