Sunday, 18 January 2009

Poetry Please.........please.

One of the gems of BBC Radio 4 has returned for a new series, ‘Poetry Please’. The programme formula is simple: listeners are invited to send in their requests with a brief reason for the request, the poems are then read out, usually by an invited member of the theatrical profession or by the author themselves.
The programme is moderated by one of the ‘Liverpool Poets’ – Roger McGough.
Last evening the poetic net was, as ever, cast far and wide.
The actress Lia Williams read several of the poems beautifully – further proof to my mind that poetry should unfailingly be read out loud.
Last evenings programme featured the following poems, each a delight to hear:

The Ambush by Brian Patten

The Effect of Coastal Processes on the Beach at Amroth by Adrian Blamires

Verse Found Whilst Reading Between the Lines of a Lonely Hearts Ad by Matt Harvey

Rapunzstiltskin by Liz Lochhead

I Cannot Live With You by Emily Dickinson

London by ASJ Tessimond

The Album by Cecil Day Lewis

Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

My Three Rivers by Lotte Kramer

One Need Not be a Chamber by Emily Dickinson

It is Here by Harold Pinter

I Know the Place by Harold Pinter

High Waving Heather by Emily Brontë

My Literary Career So Far by Adrian Mitchell

My particular favourite was this poem by Matt Harvey – read by the author before a
predictably lively and responsive audience.....

Verse Found Whilst Reading Between the Lines of a Lonely Hearts Ad

I'm looking for a woman. She must be very nice.
And made of all the right ingredients - i.e. sugar, starch, spice…

She must of course respect me - as many people do -I don't ask to be worshipped.
I only want what's due.

She should be nimble on her feet and not get in my way,
She should show a lively interest in every thing I say

Ideally she'll be fairly bright (but not have gone to college)
All applicants will take a test in basic general knowledge

It goes without my saying that she must just love to cook
And when I lose a sock or tie she must know where to look

But when I lose my temper she will, if she is wise,
Let the worst of it blow over - and then apologise

She mustn't put on make-up, unless I take her out
When she'd to hold her body steady and not wriggle it about

A word or two about myself? Well, I am what I am -
An ordinary, undemanding, decent sort of man

Just one last thing, to make quite sure I find the perfect wife,
The successful applicant will be asked to complete the following sentence:


by Matt Harvey

The programme can be heard at


  1. Thank you a lot for the link, I am going to enjoy right now.

  2. I was enviously reading down through your post and wishing I could hear this program. And then at the end you have the link! Wow. Thank you so much! I'm heading there right now... :)

  3. My apologies nice people.......the 'Beeb' updated the site.

  4. How I do wish we had such a program here in the States!! I do listen often to the BBC Radio 4 via my computer and love it. You are most fortunate to have it! And I love the poem you printed!!

    Thanks so much for dropping by our place. You are most welcome anytime and I know I shall enjoy visiting you here!! Edward and I send our best!

  5. love the

    no further comment...ahem...

    oh except...a big hug and kiss for you...;)