Five Poems For 50 Years

A week of poems commissioned to mark the Third Programme's golden jubilee.



by Peter Reading.

Like Radio 3, Peter Reading is 50 years old.

His poem is an elegy for those who have died since then, particularly the poets George Macbeth and Gavin Ewart.


by Kathleen Jamie.

The Scottish poet charts her pregnancy and the birth of her first child.

03The Wind Dog19970806

by Tom Paulin.

Tom Paulin is distinguished as a critic as well as a poet.

His poem is an autobiography in sound, ranging from bomb blasts in Belfast to the sound of someone wearing hobnailed boots walking down a lane in winter.

04The Knowing19970807

by Sharon Olds.

Sharon Olds is one of the best poets in the USA today, and her sequence of poems is both epic and domestic, recalling her life from her childhood - with a terrifying, abusive father - to her own marriage and children.

05 LASTThe Shadow Of God19970808

by Ken Smith.

Every Lent, the streets of Mohacs in southern Hungary go wild with noisy, hairy masked men as the Buso Festival takes place - a vision of the ancient world in the 20th century.

Ken Smith's poem records this and one of the triggers for the mayhem - the slaughter of 30,000 Hungarians in one day by the invading Turkish army of the Ottoman Empire in 1526.