Saturday, 16 May 2009

Poetry Matters (9): The Poetry Archive

We have just listened to the excellent BBC Radio 4 programme on the Poetry Archive. Andrew Motion may be handing over the Laureate torch to Carol Ann Duffy, but the Archive remains as a wonderful, accessible and lasting legacy to his tenure.

Highlights for me were hearing the very different voices of Tennyson, Yeats and Causley - perhaps especially Charles Causley. I believe the programme is due to be repeated on the radio (FM only) on Monday. You can see the site (with iPlayer etc.) here. Sound producer, Richard Carrington, told us a few 'behind the scenes' tales of the actual recordings, and the programme gave a fascinating insight into this wide-ranging and international resource.

The Archive has a good glossary of poetic terms and a description of forms (e.g. 'pantoum', as highlighted on the programme). I would hope that in the future - and where applicable - it might be possible to access the Archive's poems by form - and possibly by subject or key words.

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