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Auguries of Innocence William Blake

Auguries of Innocence

Listen to ‘Auguries of Innocence’ by William Blake, read by Paul O’Prey: Reading the opening lines of Blake’s great invocation to see and cherish the whole universe as a single, living being, I find myself thinking of Robert Macfarlane’s timely reminder, that ‘wonder is an essential survival skill for the Anthropocene’. Blake is the master …

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halcyon days poetry

Halcyon Days

By my reckoning of the calendar, Storm Bella, which shook the British Isles with hundred mile an hour winds on 27 December, was right on schedule, or perhaps a day early. Halcyon Days traditionally run for seven days either side of the Winter Solstice, a period of calm decreed by ancient gods to allow kingfishers …

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Poems for the Earth blog

Launching our Poems for the Earth Project

It feels really good to be kicking-off the new year with the launch of an exciting new project, Poems for the Earth. Our aim is that through a series of books, blogs, podcasts and events, we can bring together readers and writers who share a sense of delight and wonder at the beauty and diversity …

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poet mary borden

Mary Borden: Sonnets to a Soldier

In 1916 a young British officer turned up at Mary Borden’s hospital on the Somme, a make-shift collection of huts and tents close to the front line. The officer was accompanied by his alsation dog Rex, and was looking for a lost company of soldiers. Mary described their first meeting: ‘My apron is stained with …

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the burning of the leaves poem

Laurence Binyon: The Burning of the Leaves

Paul O’Prey, editor of Laurence Binyon, Poems of Two Wars, reads and discusses ‘The Burning of the Leaves’, Binyon’s extraordinary poem set in London during the Blitz When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Laurence Binyon was 70 – but that didn’t stop him feeling that same sense of wanting to be made …

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‘Unidentified’ by Mary Borden

Paul O’Prey reads and discusses ‘Unidentified’ by Mary Borden, written during the Battle of the Somme Mary Borden’s war poems, written from field hospitals in Flanders and on the Somme, are unlike any other poems written during the First World War. Her model for these poems is not Rupert Brooke or Thomas Hardy, both of …

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